NATIONAL

Order undemocratic, says Karat

Prakash Karat

Prakash Karat  

JAIPUR, JULY 24 .The Polit Bureau member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Prakash Karat, today termed the Bombay High Court order directing the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena to pay compensation for the bandh they organised last year as "undemocratic."

"The order goes against the spirit of democracy. Organisations as well as political parties have a right to protest. The courts trying to put curbs on it is patently undemocratic," he said. Addressing newspersons here, Mr. Karat said: "Judicial interference in political activity could not be appreciated." The judiciary as well as administration had their roles demarcated. In case of any violation of law, action could be taken.

Referring to similar orders against bandhs by the Kerala High Court in the past, which the CPI (M) had challenged in the Supreme Court, he said the courts should not interfere in such matters. "In the present case the party will take up the matter after deliberations."

Politically motivated

Commenting on the issue of warrant against Shibu Soren, Mr. Karat said under the given circumstances it was only proper for the former to step down but the whole episode was a "politically motivated move by the Bharatiya Janata Party Government in Jharkhand." "It is a 30-year-old case which has been dug out conveniently by the Jharkhand Government," he said, adding that there were such cases against many political leaders.

Undermining democracy

Condemning the behaviour of the BJP-led Opposition in Parliament, Mr. Karat said it was "unfortunate" that the proceedings were being disrupted in such a manner. "The Opposition has a right to place its viewpoint but repeated disruptions like this only undermined democracy," he said.

"Even the Speaker was not allowed to make a statement. He had to do it outside Parliament," Mr. Karat noted.

Responding to a query, the CPI(M) leader said during the regime of the National Democratic Alliance Government, the Opposition's stand on the then Defence Minister, George Fernandes was not the same. "The proceedings of the House were not disrupted. We only avoided Mr. Fernandes' replies during question hour. The general impression is that the BJP and its allies in the NDA are acting out of frustration in the wake of losing power".

On the United Progressive Alliance Government economic policies, Mr. Karat said that the CPI(M) would like to have a discussion with the Government on issues relating to foreign direct investment. "The Government can give us its arguments on FDI cap and we will put across ours."

Position papers

Mr. Karat said the party would bring out "position papers" on insurance, telecom and civil aviation. The "position papers," which would be ready in a week, would help remove the various misconceptions on FDI in these sectors in India as well as in other countries like China. On the drought situation in Rajasthan, he said the Centre as well as the State Government should take timely action to prevent human misery and damage to cattle.

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