Staff Correspondent

Communalism should be opposed, says party secretary Nagaraj

HASSAN: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to work against the Bharatiya Janata Party-supported Janata Dal (Secular) candidate in the byelection to the Chamundeswari Assembly Constituency. In an interview with The Hindu here on Wednesday, the party's State secretary G.N. Nagaraj said, "Communalism should be opposed and the efforts made by some political parties to join hands with communal forces should be condemned."

Mr. Nagaraj, who headed the party delegation that visited Chikmagalur on Tuesday, made a brief halt in Hassan on his way to Mysore.

Mr. Nagaraj said, "We would call upon the people to vote for that candidate who can defeat the BJP-supported Janata Dal (S) candidate. We would also like to appeal to the people to reject vested interests. We want them to judge political parties by their policies and exercise their votes."

Mr. Nagaraj said, "We want the Election Commission to keep a close watch on the byelection and help people exercise their votes fairly and freely.

"We also demand that the Government take steps to ensure that the official machinery is not misused."

Gowda's statement

Referring to the statement made by former Prime Minister and president of the Janata Dal (S) H.D. Deve Gowda that all political parties survived on "black money" and fought elections with it, Mr. Nagaraj said, "We would like to remind Mr. Deve Gowda that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has never received any black money and it doesn't fight elections with it. It has even rejected donations given by corporate houses."

Mr. Nagaraj said, "Mr. Deve Gowda should not think that every party behaves in the same way as his party does."

On Mr. Deve Gowda's announcement that he would take the support of the BJP for the byelection or the reports that he (Mr. Deve Gowda) might join hands with the National Democratic Alliance, Mr. Nagaraj said they were only rumours. "We would like to wait and see," he said in reply to a question whether Mr. Deve Gowda's announcement would change the political scenario in the country. On the formation of the third front, Mr. Nagaraj said, "At this moment, we don't see any change in the political scenario. Let us wait for the election results."

Mr. Nagaraj said, "We don't see any such prospects of Mr. Deve Gowda joining hands with the National Democratic Alliance" as there were many contradictions between the Janata Dal (S) and the BJP.