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Karat talks economy to retain Left hold over Coimbatore

May 08, 2009 03:43 IST
His speech at a well-attended public meeting in Coimbatore didn't even mention the Sri Lankan crisis -- an issue which rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and even some of his allies are belabouring daily. Instead, Communist Party of India- Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat focused on economic woes and power cuts to retain his party's hold over this industrial hub of Coimbatore.

Linking the Indo-US nuclear deal -- an eyesore for the Left -- and the severe power crisis in Coimbatore and adjoining areas, Karat said, "The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) said it would be able to provide electricity because of the nuclear deal. But why are the Congress and the DMK not telling the people in Coimbatore that when the nuclear deal will bring power? They can't because it will not solve the crisis even in the next 20 years. And the price of the electricity will be Rs 8 per unit, beyond the means of the people."

Alleging that the Congress had pursued "the BJP's (Bharatiya Janata Party) economic policies," Karat also picked up the unemployment issue -- a burning problem of the industrial city due to recession and power cuts.

"The UPA has failed to tackle all major crises in the country. Increasing joblessness should have been a major issue of this election but the Congress and the DMK are not talking about it because they have nothing to offer," Karat said amid thunderous applause.

Even as Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi recently floated the possibility of aligning with the Left to form the government after the polls, top Left leaders in Coimbatore snubbed the Congress and emphasised that such a relationship is wishful thinking.

"If the Congress thinks we will bail it out after the elections, they are living in a dream world. Why are they talking only about the Left? It's Left plus ADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) plus PMK (Pattali Makkal Katchi), plus TDP (Telugu Desam Party) plus BJD (Biju Janata Dal). We will collectively decide how to form the government after the elections," said Karat.

Communist Party of India national secretary D Raja also refuted Gandhi's analysis that the Congress and Left have a "lot of meeting ground" and "reasonable amount of common space."

"Politics is not a child's play. If there is so much commonality, why couldn't the Congress work along with the Left? They are opportunist because they took the help of the Samajwadi Party and abandoned the Left for the Indo-US nuclear deal," Raja said at a press conference at his local party office.