CPM’s Karat sends out feelers to UPA

CPM’s Karat sends out feelers to UPA

New Delhi: Two months after a bitter parting with the Congress party over the India-US civil nuclear deal, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) general secretary Prakash Karat, who was central in the conflict, on Friday sent out feelers for a rapprochement.

“You have to distinguish between the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and other secular parties. You have to draw in the following of the Congress in our fight against communalism," Karat told a discussion group on ‘Communal violence against Christians and other minorities’, organized by the Centre for Policy Analysis, a non-profit public research institute.

“You cannot write off Congress along with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). If you do so, there will not be much hope for us," he added.

Karat’s statement comes at a time when there are concerns that the BJP, which has made terror and double-digit inflation central issues of its campaign, may gain decisive electoral advantage in the crucial state assembly polls due in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi before the year-end.

Karat, who has been consistently criticizing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to which the Left parties had extended support for more than four years, admitted that Congress has “often" failed in its fight against communalism.

“But you have to understand the ways of the Congress...besides the problem (communalism) has gone deeper. Only the administration cannot help to resolve it."

Political analyst B.G. Varghese of the Centre for Policy Research pointed out that the Left has been saying that “majority communalism" was more dangerous than imperialism on which they opposed the nuclear deal. “They are also worried about their own position in Kerala and West Bengal," he said.

The Left parties, led by the CPM, decided to support the UPA in May 2004 only to keep the BJP out of power. However, they voted with the BJP against the UPA in the 22 July trust vote, protesting the government’s decision to go ahead with the nuclear deal.