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Voting BJP means promoting communalism: CPM

Hitting back at Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Sunday said voting the BJP to power in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections meant encouraging communalism and capitalism in the country.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2014 19:25 IST

Hitting back at Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Sunday said voting the BJP to power in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections meant encouraging communalism and capitalism in the country.

Addressing a rally in Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground, Karat also slammed the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal and stressed the need for a Third Front, an alliance of non-Congress and non-BJP parties, to keep the big two out of power.

Reacting to Modi's 'Third Front is third grade' barb, Karat said if elected to power, the BJP would let loose divisive forces in the country.

Modi had come down heavily on the idea of a Third Front at the same venue last Wednesday after 11 political parties, including the four Left parties, decided to work as one block on a "common agenda" in Parliament.

Blaming the 34-year Left rule for Bengal's miseries, Modi had kept the door ajar for incumbent chief minister Banerjee, a former ally of both the Congress and the BJP.

On the Sunday rally, Karat tried to hardsell the idea of the Third Front, saying the Left parties, which have 15 of the 42 Lok Sabha MPs from Bengal, were looking forward to build an alternative power centre. "The only way to get rid of the Congress and the BJP can be provided by the Third Front."

After being ousted by Banerjee's party in the 2011 assembly elections, the Left Front is on the back foot in Bengal. Adding insult to the injury, three Left Front leaders have voted in favour of the Trinamool Congress in the recently held Rajya Sabha polls.

Notwithstanding the blow, Karat alleged the Trinamool Congress government's misrule had resulted in lawlessness in the state, which is reeling under a series of crimes against women.

Former Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and opposition leader in the Bengal assembly, Suryakanta Mishra, also addressed the rally.