Wiser after the blunder of not letting Jyoti Basu become PM in 1996, the CPM has for the first time hinted that it could consider a decision to take part in a possible third front government to make it more secure and stable.
“I do not rule it out or confirm it. This is something to be decided by our central committee after the polls if there is such a situation,” general secretary Prakash Karat told HT.
The CPI(M)’s principle of lending outside support has not only robbed it of a historical chance of having a Left PM but also key ministerial berths offered by the Congress in 2004.
Paragraph 112 of the CPI(M)’s Programme, the party’s apex political policy document, bars it from taking part in any government where it cannot directly influence policies. The party has refrained from even indicating joining any government so far. But given its serious bid to foist a lasting non-BJP, non-Congress government, it may have to re-think its outside-support-only stand, a party source said.
The party pulled out of the UPA because it could not exercise control over the Congress-led government’s policy to have an Indo-US nuclear deal.
Its manifesto, released by Karat on Monday, stated that the party would strive to amend the Constitution to make legislative sanctions compulsory for any international treaty.
“We will review and rework the dubious nuclear deal and remove harmful clauses in it,” Karat said.
The party, in the manifesto, also took credit for blocking several “risky” financial measures of the UPA, which blunted the impact of the global economic crisis. The CPI(M)’s pressure protected the banking and the insurance sectors from being wolfed down by cash-sapped foreign MNCs, it said The party also claimed credit for blocking the government’s move to park pension funds in private hands. It also said it opposed dilution of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act.
“Pensions of lakhs of government employees were protected by the Left’s decision to oppose the Pension Fund Regulatory Act,” the red-jacketed manifesto stated.
Congress hits back
Congress’s spokesman Abhishek Singhvi slammed the Communists for hobnobbing with parties that were part of the BJP-led NDA and now threatened to divide the secular agenda. “They now have the gall to accuse us of failing to combat communalism when the UPA provided a stable secular agenda.’
He also lambasted them for dismissing the UPA’s common minimum programme and achievements, which were good enough when they were backing the Congress, but were now being criticised.