NATIONAL

Karat sees conspiracy



Special Correspondent

Coimbatore: Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has alleged that "forces within and outside the country" hatched a conspiracy to "weaken and isolate" the Left parties in West Bengal and Kerala, where they were poised to return to power in the coming Assembly elections.

Kicking off the party's election campaign at Singanallur here on Saturday, he said the Left parties were being portrayed as "anti-national" for defending national interests.

Mischievous propaganda

In West Bengal, the Left Front's continuous rule for the past 29 years was attributed to "rigging," he said. This resulted in the Election Commission's plan to conduct an unprecedented five-phase polling there. Meanwhile, in Kerala, the local media indulged in mischievous propaganda that there was division within the party ranks.

Mr. Karat said this showed the lack of awareness on how a "revolutionary party" functioned. "Whether it is a parliamentary or grassroots level responsibility, it is discussed and decided at the party forum," Mr. Karat said.

Referring to the AIADMK's "authoritarian rule" in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Karat said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa created a record by dismissing more than a lakh employees at one stroke. She had "contempt" for parliamentary democracy and failed to learn any lesson from the drubbing her party suffered in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he observed.