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Left changes color, sees 'greater danger' in BJP than Cong - The Economic Times

Political Bureau ()
3 September 1997

Title: Left changes colour, sees 'greater danger' in BJP than in Cong
Author: Political Bureau
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: September 3, 1997

The CPI(M) said today, in the most categorical statement of its kind, that
it considered the BJP 'more dangerous' and a 'bigger threat' than the

Virtually throwing aside earlier declarations that sought to balance the
Congress and the BJP in terms of threat perception, the CPI(M) general
secretary, Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, said the BJP represented the 'twin
evils' of 'communalism' and 'pro-liberalisation'. In other words,
indicating that the Congress was a lesser evil because it was not communal
and just reform-friendly.

Mr Surjeet, who was speaking to mediapersons here after the conclusion of
the four-day CPI(M) central committee (CC) meeting, however, said his party
was not interested in the 'V P Singh formula' which basically advocates
local level alliances between United Front constituents and the Congress in
states where they are not opposing each other directly. However, even while
admitting that the BJP poses a 'greater danger' to Indian polity, the
CPI(M) did not let up on its attack on the 'discredited' Congress.

The statement said: "It must be noted that the Congress, which is running
state governments in six out of the 25 states, is harping about the
non-viability of a coalition government at the Centre."

The CPI(M) went on to give advice to the Congress: "Given the weak position
of the Congress and the erosion of (its) popular support, the advocacy of a
single party government by the Congress will only strengthen the BJP's claim."

Clearly, the CPI(M) thinks that if there is to be a single government at
the Centre in the future, the BJP is better placed to be that government.

Hence, the CPI(M) homely to the 'disunited' Congress: "It will be better
for the Congress party to set its own house in order rather than wishing
for the unrealisable goal of single party rule by the Congress."

However, it was not only the Congress which was at the receiving end of the
CPI(M)'s wrath. The UF government which the Marxist support from outside,
too got its usual quota of brickbats.

On the pay commission, the CPI(M) attacked the Centre for failing to arrive
at a negotiated settlement with employees' federations on their 'legitimate
demands' and extended its support to the strike called by Central
government workers on September 24.

The party also expressed its unhappiness with failure of the Gujral
government to strengthen to the 'revamped' Public Distribution System and
demanded that the foodgrain allocation be raised to 20 kg from the present
1 0 kg for people below the poverty line.

The 'communal' BJP, too was flayed by the Marxists. Debunking the claim of
the Hindu right that it too played a role in India's freedom struggle, Mr
Surjeet said that the role of Hindu right-wing organisations like the RSS
was the same that was played by the Muslim League: 'Dividing the people'
during the struggle. for independence.

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