CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Thursday demanded that the Election Commission (EC) adopt the Tamil Nadu model to check infusion of black money during polls.
“In Tamil Nadu, more than Rs 100 crore of black money that was supposedly brought in to meet-election related expenditure was seized. The Election Commission should set up checkposts at the borders to stop entry of black money. After all, money does not have any boundaries,” Karat said at a news conference on Thursday.
The CPI(M) leader also ridiculed Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s claims that the West Bengal government has failed miserably in utilising generous grants from the Centre.
“The way Gandhi spoke it seems that central funds are granted out of charity and generosity. But it is the constitutional right of the West Bengal government to receive central funds. In reality the state government is receiving much less from the Centre. The demand for a long time is to have 50% share of tax collected. The state is receiving 32%,” Karat said.
Quoting a recent revelation by WikiLeaks, Karat said the US wants the Left Front to be replaced by Trinamool in West Bengal. According to him, WikiLeaks mentions a report from the US consulate, which mentioned that Trinamool would be friendly with Washington after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
“It is clear now that the US wants to see Trinamool at the helm of power in West Bengal and are cultivating the party and its supreme leader. Trinamool has to give some serious explanations on this issue,” the CPI(M) general secretary said.
Ridiculing Trinamool’s slogan of “change”, Karat said it might bring back the bad old days of the Seventies in West Bengal. “The three decades of Left Front rule in West Bengal has established total communal harmony in West Bengal. Now, Trinamool is trying to bring in communal politics here,” Karat said.
He also charged the Congress-Trinamool alliance of having truck with divisive forces like Maoists and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). When asked specifically, whether he regrets his decision to withdraw support from the UPA 1 government, Karat said, “The time when we took the decision, withdrawal of support was absolutely necessary.”
No Somnath link
There is absolutely no link between the expulsion of Somnath Chatterjee and the former Speaker’s decision to campaign for housing minister Gautam Deb. “Lines are drawn between the Left Front and opponents. Anybody who wants to support Left and campaign for its candidates, they are welcome. As far as the CPI(M), is concerned we have made our stand clear. The one who is campaigning for us will have to subscribe to whatever we say or vice-versa," he said.