Karat bashes UPA at Centre, BJP in State

Claims that allowing FDI will displace four crore small retailers

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has blamed the governnance of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for the last eight years as solely responsible for price hikes, widespread corruption and unemployment.

Addressing a political convention here on Tuesday, Karat, said that the government’s decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which will allow foreign super-market chain, Wal-Mart, to gain a footing in the country, will ensure the displacement of four crore small retailers.

Slamming Dr Manmohan Singh’s government for ‘managing’ to win the FDI vote in the Parliament with the help of the very parties which had publicly opposed FDI, Karat described the UPA government as being the most corrupt regime since Independence.

“It has institutionalised corruption through neo-liberal economic policies. They have been involved in a series of scandals, including the 2G, Common Wealth Games, Coal, Gas and Oil contract in Krishna and Godavari river basins, and now FDI which has been approved despite widespread objections,” he added.

Karat also bashed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which had begun to privatise public sector units, Karat said that the BJP was the sole cause for the privatisation of coal industry. “The alternative to the UPA is definitely not the BJP, as both are two sides of the same coin,” he said and added that the BJP-led government has introduced ‘organised loot’ in Karnataka, and set a new record by making the State the ‘most corrupt’ in the country.

“Since 2008, various BJP ministers, including former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, have been indicted in various scams, including the mining and land scams,” he added.

According to Karat, the BJP government is attacking the secular fabric of the State. He cited records from the Union Home Ministry which revealed that there have been 54 incidences of communal rioting in the State from January to November. “RSS and various other Hindutva outfits have been allowed to target the minorities in the BJP-led government states including Gujarat and Chhattisgarh,” he added.

“There is a need for an alternative party against the Congress and the BJP,” Karat said. The CPI (M), with eight other democratic political parties, will create a united movement and struggle to defend the livelihood of the working class. Karat added they would work towards a universal public distribution system by having a Bill passed in Parliament to distribute 35 kilos of food grains, priced at Rs two per kilo.

He said they are planning to collect over five crore signatures and submit it to the Prime Minister before the commencement of the budget session. Karat said that CPI (M) along with other left parties and the trade unions across the country are planning an all India jatha on December 20 and 21.

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