Bardhan shocked at Karunanidhi blaming Left parties for stir

Published - September 01, 2010 11:26 pm IST - COIMBATORE:

Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan said here on Wednesday that he was “surprised” by and “shocked” at Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi pinning the blame for the agitation by noon meal workers on Communist parties.

Mr. Karunanidhi had resorted to unprovoked criticism of the Communist parties, he told reporters. The workers had resorted to peaceful agitation for pressing their genuine demands. “I have been a trade unionist for a long time. I do not know of any law that requires a 14-day notice for an agitation. What the workers resorted to was not a strike. Those dismissed must be reinstated.”

Mr. Bardhan said he also took Mr. Karunanidhi's criticism as a compliment because it showed how sensitive the Communist parties were to the problems of the workers and downtrodden sections. “Mr. Karunanidhi says the Communists and Maoists are the same. If he gets upset over peaceful protests, the people who stage these will take to methods that Mr. Karunanidhi terms Maoist.”

Mr. Karunanidhi was, however, not objecting to the leader of a constituent of the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre addressing a rally of Maoists in West Bengal, the CPI general secretary pointed out, without mentioning the name of Mamata Banerjee.

Mr. Bardhan asked: “Is Mr. Karunanidhi forgetting that there was a time when he was with the Communist parties? He is a shrewd politician. Was he not aware of what these parties were? I plead with him to stop such attacks [on the Communist parties].” Mr. Karunanidhi was losing his cool because he saw no future for himself and his party.

On food grains

On the issue of rotting food grains, the CPI leader said the Supreme Court order was very clear on its distribution among the poor. It was either ignored or misunderstood, he said, when asked about the court reminding the Central government that it had issued an order and not made a mere suggestion.

Instead of ensuring “food security for rats,” the entitlements for the States could be increased so that the food grains would not lie rotting in godowns.

Under the UPA II regime, every constituent was free to do anything in the absence of a common minimum programme (CMP). When the UPA I government functioned with the support of the Communist parties, “we were there to monitor the implementation of a CMP.”

On Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's visit to Sri Lanka, he said all diplomatic options must be used for resolving the problems of Tamils in the island nation.

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