KOLKATA,16th March: In a rally of the Left Front activists in Yuvabharati Krirangan (Salt Lake stadium) on 16th March in Kolkata, veteran communist leader Comrade Jyoti Basu accused the Congress of betraying the people. He could not be physically present at the meeting because of his health condition, but his address was telecast on video screens in the stadium.
Jyoti Basu said, “the forthcoming Lok Sabha election is an important political struggle for the Left. The outcome of this struggle will determine who will form the next government at the Centre. The Left Front wants to stop the BJP from forming the next government. The Congress has not kept its commitments made in the Common Minimum Program. They are aligning our country with the United States. Neither do they learn from their mistakes nor do they adhere to principles. In this context we want an alternative government at the Centre, which will work in the interests of the people, adhere to secularism and pursue an independent foreign policy. The Left Front in West Bengal should be made victorious in order to form of such a government at the Centre”.
Addressing the Left Front activists, Jyoti Basu said: “You know that I am ill because of which I am not being able to attend today’s meeting. It would have been nice had I been able to be there in person. However, I am confident that you will ably discharge the responsibility that has come upon you. I also believe that the people of the state will defeat the unprincipled alliance of the opposition and ensure the victory of the Left Front”.
“In order to stop the communal forces and prevent the BJP from coming to power, we had supported the UPA Government for some time. This was unthinkable earlier. We had supported the Congress party, which we had fought all along and continue to fight today, just to ensure that the BJP does not come to power. We had supported the Congress on the basis of the Common Minimum Program. But the Congress has betrayed the people”.
“This state has a rich tradition of struggles. We have built the Left Front through years of struggle. All of you have contributed to the strengthening of the Left Front Government over the years. Due to illness I retired from the Chief Minster’s post six months before the Assembly Elections in 2001. Our Central Committee had decided that Buddhadeb Bhattacharya should first become the Deputy Chief Minister and subsequently the Chief Minister of the state. Accordingly, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya is now the Chief Minister of the Left Front Government. The Left Front Government has consistently worked for the betterment of the people. That is why our state has emerged as a front ranking in several areas. For instance, we have redistributed 13 lakh acres of land to the peasants. This has not happened anywhere else in the country. We have ensured the rights and dignity of the people. We have established the rights of the peasants, workers, middle class and the poor people. We have done a lot. At the same time a lot remains to be done.
Jyoti Basu said "Agriculture has to be developed further. Maintaining our front ranking position among the states in agriculture, we have to involve our agriculture universities and scientists to further increase agricultural production. We have to use industrialization to ensure employment opportunities for the young men and women who are studying in schools and colleges. Many industrialists are coming to the state to set up industries. We have to use this opportunity. It should be remembered that the land that we are acquiring for industries is being done after paying adequate compensation. The compensation paid to the farmers in our state has no parallel in the country. We are laying emphasis on the upliftment of the disadvantaged sections like the minorities, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. But the opposition wants to mislead the people against our programmes. They have no policies or principles. They want to hold back the development of West Bengal. For this they are striking unprincipled alliances”.
Jyoti Basu expressed his confidence that the people of West Bengal will ensure the victory of the Left Front defeating the unprincipled alliance of the opposition.