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Cong a sinking ship, join us: Left to allies

Winding up a rally against the proposed nuclear deal, Karat urged his "other friends in the UPA to jump off this sinking ship (Congress) as fast as possible". MR Venkatesh reports.

india Updated: Jul 17, 2008 02:14 IST
MR Venkatesh

Terming the Congress a "sinking ship", CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on Wednesday made an appeal to "our other friends in the UPA", including the DMK, to quit the alliance to help forge a "new force" that will fight both communalism and the imperialist forces to whom the Indo-US nuclear deal seeks to enslave India.

Winding up a rally against the proposed nuclear deal, Karat urged his "other friends in the UPA to jump off this sinking ship (Congress) as fast as possible" and assured that the Left would be able to bring about a "realignment of political forces". Significantly, the rally was held in the Central Madras constituency represented by the DMK's fence-sitting MP Dayanidhi Maran.

In an obvious reference to the DMK on its home turf, Karat said: "There will be a new force," and disagreed with the proposition that only the Congress and BJP represented the two alternatives in the political spectrum. His reference to the DMK was even more pointed when he called upon other friendly parties in the UPA "to join us in our endeavour" to forge a third alternative, economically and politically.

"Let this meeting in Chennai be the beginning of a widespread campaign against the nuclear deal and to bring about a new force, both in Tamil Nadu as well as in the country", which will not only protect India's sovereignty but also pave the way for an alternative politics and economic policies, Karat said in the presence of senior Left party leaders, including the CPI's R Nallakannu and All India Forward Bloc's Debabrata Biswas.

Both Karat and the CPI's D Raja rejected the allegation against the Left that by voting against the government, they would be helping the BJP. "We reject this charge. The UPA government's functioning in the last two years in particular has shown that in state after state, the BJP is coming back to power precisely due to the Congress' inability to isolate the communal forces," Karat said.