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Karat interview: VS refuses to bite the bullet

Tuesday 18 April 2006, by PI*Rajeev

KOZHIKODE, April 17 : V S Achuthanandan, CPI(M)’s top hardline honcho and likely chief minister if the Left comes to power this poll, declined to comment whether he agreed with his General Secretary Prakash Karat that the strife in Kerala CPI(M) was between two ideological perspectives.

Karat had said in a TV interview yesterday that the discord in the Kerala unit was not between two individuals, but two perspectives. ??If it were only a matter of two individuals having their differences, we would have sorted it early on. But this is a complex issue,’’ Karat had said. He was referring to the virtual ideological rift in the party, with VS’s hardliners pulling in one direction and state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan’s reformist bandwagon in another.

VS declined to accept or reject Karat’s observation. ??It’s all a matter of how you want to interpret what Karat may have wanted to say,’’ according to him. Denying that he was actually anti-development as being painted, VS said he had only been trying to prevent leaders of the Congress-led UDF from plundering public money. He reiterated that the Rs 1500-crore Smart City, Kerala’s dream infotech project ready to be launched, is ??meant only to fill their pockets’’ and can’t be allowed.

On why he had been silent about enlisting the support of outfits like the PDP and Jamaat-e-Islami that he and the CPI(M) had condemned earlier as communal this poll, VS said the party had not asked for their vote, but they had offered support. He declined to comment whether CPI(M) MP T K Hamsa had the party’s mandate for holding parleys with PDP leader Abdul Nasser Madani in Coimbatore jail, where he is lodged as an accused in the 1998 serial bomb blasts that killed 58 in Coimbatore.

VS, however, volunteered he had written twice to TN CM Jayalalithaa seeking an audience to plead for Mahdani’s release on Parole, on health grounds. ??He has been in jail for the last eight years and is a sick man,’’ VS said. He said he had himself taken the initiative to get the state Assembly to pass a unanimous resolution seeking Mahdani’s release.

Asked whether he saw no dichotomy in his party’s posture that the Muslim League is a communal outfit while its long time ally, the Indian National League, was not, a caustic VS commented: ??We are still studying whether they are communal’’.

VS, who had led a long and often violent series of campaigns against the state government accepting loans from ADB and other agencies, was cryptic when asked if he personally subscribed to his party’s lately revised stance that ADB loans are not untouchable. ??Any loan with strings from anyone is not good,’’ he said. On the agitation that he had led against conversion of paddy farms, which involved his men chopping down and laying waste large tracts of cash crops grown on converted paddy fields, VS said he had only striven to protect the ecological balance of the state.

See online : The Indian Express

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