Special Correspondent

`Liberalisation has benefited only a small section of society'

NEW DELHI: Telugu Desam Party leader N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday said there was need for a debate on how the economic reforms in the country had benefited the common man and what course they should take in the future.

Mr. Naidu, who arrived here for a meeting with leaders of various political parties, said such a debate was need since it was 16 years since the country embarked on the path of economic liberalisation.

The former Chief Minister who had acquired an image of a pro-reform man during his tenure said that the policies of liberalisation had benefited only a small percentage of the country's population.

Meets leaders

During his visit here, Mr. Naidu met Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and CPI leader A.B. Bardhan and S. Sudhakar Reddy.

He also called on former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar who has been ailing for some time. The Left leaders said that for a third alternative to emerge and the TDP be part of it, there were two main planks -- anti-communalism and pro-poor economic policies. Mr. Naidu said his party had drawn away from BJP on the political front and the TDP was taking a fresh look at the reforms.