CPI(M) not a threat to UPA: Karat

The Communist leader says his party does not intend to topple UPA and a third alternative is not in sight.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 20:07 IST

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government can breathe easy.

Communist veteran Prakash Karat says his party has no intention of toppling it and a third alternative is not in sight.

Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), admitted that the Left had influenced the government's functioning but it would not do "a veto on everything and pull down the government".

"Then the government would not have lasted six months," he said in an interview.

"We went into supporting the government knowing fully well there are basic differences between the Congress and us, but the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) should be attempted to be worked and implemented."

The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has had several tiffs, big and small, with its Left allies since taking office in May 2004.

Karat said there was no alternative, for now, to the Congress government.

"There's no better alternative and the alternative which my party wants, a third alternative, is not doable or seeable in the near future," he said.

"So we will work for the third alternative but that is a much more long-term process."

The CPI-M leader admitted that the Marxists had come to wield a certain influence on the government.

"At no time has the CPI-M and the Left been able to influence policies at the national level to the extent that is happening today," he said.

"We have shifted the whole terrain of political debate in the country and the issues that have come up to the bread and butter issues, the real issues of the people, and we have shown that on every question we give no quarter...

"We play a role of opposition to policies," Karat said.

"Our job is to act as the sentinel of what we consider people's interests and whenever there is a policy measure which we consider is not in the interest of the people of the country we oppose it and in some cases we are able to stop. But in some cases they went ahead and we continue to mobilise people to oppose it. It's a political process," Karat said.

First Published: Sep 16, 2006 16:32 IST