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Left to send strong message against `breach of CMP’

Sunday 26 June 2005

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Constituents of the Left parties on Saturday took the view that a "strong message" needed to be sent to the United Progressive Alliance Government for stepping out of line from the agreed Common Minimum Programme.

The All-India Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party plan to stress this view when the four Left parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the CPI, the RSP and the AIFB, meet here on Sunday.

The Left parties coordination meeting comes close on the heels of the Manmohan Singh Government hiking the price of petrol and diesel and also the growing differences over the approach on disinvestment in Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

They said the decision to offload 10 per equity by the Government and divert the proceeds to an investment fund was a "breach of CMP" and conveyed strong opposition to the move. The parties argued that the CMP allowed public sector companies going to market to raise resources for internal use through a decision by the boards and not by the Government.

"We have to send a strong message that the Left parties cannot tolerate these frequent announcements by the Government, especially the Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram. We also have to remove an impression gaining ground that we are part of the Government,’’ AIFB Secretary G. Devarajan told The Hindu on the eve of the meeting. The Left parties were also coming under pressure from trade unions and farmers associations.

He said the Government had recently ignored suggestions by the Left parties for restructuring excise and customs duties and other measures instead of resorting to increasing petrol and diesel prices. "The Congress continues to push its agenda, if they want to do that the party should get a mandate," he said.

Abani Roy, RSP Central Committee member, said his party would remind the Left leaders a suggestion made by the party congress that it was time to "reconsider" outside support to the UPA Government. He said the Left leaders were also questioning the efficacy of the UPA-Left coordination meeting.

"There is no point in attending these meetings when the Government insists on doing what it wants to do," Mr. Roy said.

See online : The Hindu

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