CPI(M) Politburo member
tells The New Indian Express
Editorial Director PrabhuChawla
during Teekhi Baat on IBN7 that his party is willing to team up with the BJP to oppose the economic policies and corruption of the Congress. Excerpts:
Prakash Karat got the top position in your party for the third time after losing Bengal. National parties are in control of leaders who cannot win elections. Do you agree?
The people finally decide who wins elections.
It seems your party believes that the one who loses should be rewarded.
No, no, the party collectively takes some decisions, whatever the results, we collectively accept them.
The communist movement has an ideological base, but it doesn’t seem so in the national parties, where leaders who speak good English, have a taste for fine food, travel abroad, mix with other parties and dominate, they are the leaders.
This is wrong, and should not happen. Real leaders are representatives of the people.
You talk like a communist, but culturally you seem to be from the Congress.
I am an Indian, and a communist.
National parties like the CPI(M), and Congress are shrinking in terms of geographical base and mass support. Their leadership seems similar.
No, it’s not because of the leadership.
In every party this has happened; there is no leader like Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the BJP, no one like Indira in Congress, no one like Namboodiripad in the CPI(M). Now there are Prakash Karat, Rahul Gandhi..
And for the first time, more than 54 per cent of the population is less than 25 years of age.
Why are the youth not connecting with national parties?
Please listen, it is a serious question, and not only for CPI(M).
I am talking of national parties, your party.
It is a serious question for India. How is the new generation thinking, what are their aspirations and expectations? Till you don’t understand this, the present situation that national parties are in will continue. And they are getting attached to regional parties because of their proximity; they can see these parties with them. Now, this is a very big challenge for everybody, for the whole country.
Won’t you agree that it was a mistake that you were behind the Congress all these years? Till 2008, you were known as a part of the Congress.
You forget that the elections of 2004 sent 61 Left MPs to the Lok Sabha, and 57 of them defeated Congress candidates.
In the next election you were wiped out.
We were there for 35 years in Bengal.
To keep the BJP at bay you supported the Congress earlier, now to keep the BJP at bay you will not support the Congress.
The BJP does not need to be stopped now. It’s not going anywhere.
What was the big mistake made by the CPI (M) in the decade?
In the 2009 elections, the slogan of alternative government did not instill trust in people.
Now there is no chance of a Third Front being formed.
In today’s condition, who is third, who is fourth, one has to search. Only a people’s movement will yield something.
Do you feel a Marxist will become Prime Minister?
The opportunity will come when the people are behind us, not with anybody’s help.
What is the agenda now? Will non-Congress opposition parties get together on a common platform or will there be greater coordination in Parliament?
Do you remember the Dev Anand song, aankhon hi aankhon mein...
Ishara ho gaya
Baithe baithe jeene ka sahara ho gaya. We are between BJP and Congress. Aankhon hi aankhon mein ishara ho jaata hain, aur aarthik neetiyan lagoo ho jaati hain.
Because you are not doing coordination with the BJP.
Do it openly then, why are you doing it in a clandestine manner?
There’s nothing clandestine.
So will we see that you and BJP will together will try to remove this government?
If BJP is ready to come on board, there is no hesitation in going with them on the issue of economic policy, but the problem is their unspoken understanding with the Congress on so many other issues.
Hence, you are ready to give support to BJP on the issue of economic policies, corruption, and will get together to remove the Congress.