Sushanta Talukdar

Agartala: The Union government should intervene immediately and control the rising passions and violence over the controversial Amarnath land transfer issue in Jammu and Kashmir.This was stated by Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury here on Tuesday.

Vested forces were trying to foment communal tension in Jammu while extremist forces were flaring up passion in the Kashmir Valley over the land transfer issue. This was a very dangerous trend and an amicable solution to the dispute should be found, he said. Mr Yechury was here to address the 19th Tripura State conference of the party that began here on Monday.

The CPI(M) leader said the security situation in the country in the wake of the recent serial blasts in Ahmedabad, and recovery of bombs in Surat was a matter of serious concern. He called for strong political will to tackle the menace of terror. He, however, cautioned against politicising internal security.

Dismissing the argument of the Bhartiya Janata Party that absence of POTA had worsened the internal security situation, he said the absence of law was not the issue and it was the political will that was required to handle the situation. The government should make a strong resolve and all political parties should join hands to fight terror.

He pointed out that even when POTA was there terrorists carried out the attacks on Parliament, the Red Fort and other vital installations.

On the CPI(M)'s efforts to build a third force, he said a third alternative had a larger agenda than a front and his party was striving for a third alternative by bringing together the non-Congress and non-BJP parties based on alternative policies.

Third alternative

Mr. Yechury, however, clarified that so far Left parties and some other parties had come together to launch a united campaign on five common issues and the stage of formation of a third alternative was yet to be reached.

In the course of the country-wide campaign if these parties agreed to adopt alternative policies to oppose communalism and uphold secularism, opposed neo-economic liberalisation policies, adopted pro-people economic policies and opposed imperialism, formulated an independent foreign policy and safeguarded the country's sovereignty, then a third alternative was possible.

The CPI(M) leader urged the Centre to restore the quota of essential commodities under the Public Distribution System (PDS) and increase the PDS quota, more particularly for Tripura and other north-eastern States, in view of the increase in procurement of food grains and the government's failure to contain inflation and price rise.

He alleged that though procurement of food grains had increased and was more than double, the Congress-led United Progressive Allinace government was holding back the stocks and slashing down the PDS quota.

Mr Yechury said the CPI(M) was demanding that the PDS system be strengthened and allocation of PDS quota increased to ease the pressure of inflation and price rise on people living below the poverty line.