Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: While there is need to bring back into the Left’s fold those who went against it in the recent Lok Sabha elections, it is imperative that Left parties correct their mistakes, veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu said here on Monday.

“Many had gone against us in the last [Lok Sabha] elections. We will have to bring them back to us again …. Side-by-side, we will have to correct our own mistakes,” he said in a statement that was read out at a massive rally organised by the Left Front to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the “Food Movement” in which 80 persons were killed in a baton charge here by the police on demonstrators demanding food.

“The struggling masses are the Left’s hope in difficult times. I say this from the experience of the great ‘Food Movement’,” he said. He criticised the attempts being made by the Trinamool Congress “in league with Maoists” and, in certain places with the Congress, to stall development and create anarchy in the State.

Leaders and workers of Left parties were being murdered, party offices attacked and set ablaze.

“We will have to resist such attacks by mobilising the masses. For this we will have to keep reaching out to the people, work to further the interests of the poor and common man and win over their affection.”

He expressed the belief that the people of the State “will never accept an opportunistic alliance or a party without a policy and principle…They will never bow their heads to the politics of anarchy and terror.”

“The poor are coming forward to renew their struggle against the Centre’s policies,” which were forcing farmers to commit suicide. The increase in prices of essential commodities, a rise in black marketing and a deepening food crisis had hit them badly, he pointed out.

“In memory of the martyrs of August 31 [1959], let us vow to raise our heads and to resist anarchy and violence.”