Jyoti Basu sings capitalism tune for Bengal | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Jyoti Basu sings capitalism tune for Bengal

kolkata Updated: Jan 06, 2008 03:29 IST
Tanmay Chatterjee

CPM veteran Jyoti Basu pulled up Left Front allies on Saturday for accusing his party of deviating from the socialist line in pursuit of industrialisation.

“In a federal structure, how can one state establish socialism when the country’s economy is controlled by capitalism? Private investment is playing a major role (in Bengal). In recent years, we have succeeded in attracting around Rs 5,000 crore for industrial development in Haldia. We failed to do this in the 80s because of central laws and the Licence Raj. Now, we have forced the Centre to do away with those rules,” Basu said, after the weekly meeting of the party state secretariat.

Basu said the state government has clarified its position before the Assembly and it is pointless to raise the matter again. “We believe in socialism and a classless society. But right now, the ground reality is very different. We have a long way to go.”

The CPM’s allies in Marxist-ruled Bengal, like the Forward Bloc and the RSP, have accused the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government of deviating from the Left’s ideology after more than 30 years of power in the state. On January 3, Bhattacharjee had said that “reality has forced” Bengal to accept capitalism.

The allies accused the Chief Minister of taking the capitalist path to industrialise the state and alleged that the CPM was pursuing a policy of double standard by following the capitalist course while criticising the Centre’s economic policies.

But Basu dismissed the criticism. “I don’t know why the allies are raising objections," he said.

Once a critic of economic reforms, Basu said his party now wanted reforms. He did not spare the Opposition either. “Those trying to turn the people against us have no agenda of their own,” he said.

(With Agency inputs)