The country should follow Left and democratic policies to overcome the crisis in agriculture and among workers, as they constitute the real alternative to the existing system, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here on Friday.

He was speaking at a programme, where the eastern leg of the party’s ‘Sangharsh-Sandesh’ jatha was flagged off by Polit Bureau member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Even 65 years after Independence, price rise and unemployment affected the people because of the crisis in agriculture and among workers, Mr. Karat said, blaming the situation on the “wrong” policies.

“There is need for an alternative policy….The Left and democratic alternative is the only real alternative…”“The people have to support alternative policies. For the right to food, employment, to have an alternative set-up, we need alternative policies,” he said.

Pointing to the landslide of the CPI(M)-led coalition in Tripura, he said the people in that State had voted for the alternative policy. ”

The nationwide jatha would cover 10,000 km to generate awareness of the alternative policies. The eastern leg will pass through Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh before reaching New Delhi on March 14. Mr. Karat and Biman Bose, another Polit Bureau member, will be among those leading it.

While the jatha from the south has been flagged off at Kanyakumari, the one from Amritsar will begin its journey on March 4 and the one from Mumbai on March 8. After all the jathas converge on New Delhi, a rally will be held on the Ramlila Maidan on March 19.