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Capitalist Buddha chants Marx

The capitalist CM of the Communist-ruled state of Bengal had some explaining to do, reports Romita Datta.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 15:21 IST

The capitalist chief minister of the Communist-ruled state of Bengal had some explaining to do on Thursday.

Aware of the growing resentment against his reformist policies in rural pockets, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee -- on his first outdoor election campaign in Purulia --- said he was a Marxist first, but, er,…. also a pragmatist capitalist.

"We are Marxist, therefore, we are pragmatic and since we are practical, we know it's wise to be capitalist at this moment, when the whole world is wooing capitalism," he told reporters after attending a rally in Purulia city. He was quick to add that he was not severing ties with socialism.

The Congress, on the other hand, was a party of capitalists. "Congressmen in Purulia were the rich zamindars, with acres and acres of land. We have given the lands to the poor and that is why the Congress has disappeared from Purulia."

But isn't the Congress his ally at the Centre? Political compulsions, the CM explained.

The alliance was a political necessity, and he had no love for the Congress's ideology, he thundered.