Ananya Dutta

KOLKATA: The current situation in West Bengal, where a concerted attack is on by “non-communist forces” against the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is reminiscent of “the anti-communist gang up” against the first Communist government in Kerala that resulted in its dismissal 50 years ago, CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here on Friday.

Mr. Karat was speaking at a meeting on the birth centenary year of Marxist leader E.M.S Namboodiripad, whose government in Kerala was “undemocratically ousted” in 1959.

The CPI(M) had been under attack by anti-communist forces opposed to its fight against the neo-liberal policies of the Centre, Mr. Karat said.

“The attack against the party now comes camouflaged as if it is from the Left since today it is not possible to attack communist forces by a conservative, fundamentalist, right-wing strategy as was done in Kerala in 1959,” he said.

“Everyday, targeted assassinations are taking place by a force that claims to be revolutionist. Our party has decried this version of the naxalites,” he said, adding that it was a distorted, degenerate form of ultra-Leftism that was being encouraged by the Opposition alliance that had emerged in the State.

Endorsing the stand of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was present on the occasion, Mr Karat said the CPI(M) would fight the Maoists politically, ideologically as well as administratively when the extremists resorted to violence.

Commenting on the CPI (M)’s performance in the Lok Sabha elections, he said electoral reverses happened and the party had reviewed and identified their shortcomings. The election results were being used to malign the party, its leaders and the cadres, but the CPI (M) would not desert the people. “Despite the serious limitation that the State government has, we must work to improve the standard of living of the people.”

On the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland being raised by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha in the Darjeeling hills, Mr. Karat recalled that E.M.S. Namboodiripad had anticipated that there would be linguistic and ethnic minorities in States formed on the basis of linguistic identity. “The solution is not the break up of the States as that is an endless process and will lead to more strife and division.”

“Linguistic States are the basic building blocks of the federal structure; within that you have to work out, creatively and innovatively, regional autonomy,” he said. The party recommended application of the Sixth Schedule in Darjeeling.

West Bengal State Committee secretary Biman Bose emphasised the need for purging the party of those pursuing self-interests and profiting at the cost of common people.

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