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'Left Front to Play More Active Role'

CPI(M) Politburo member Biman Bose spells out the changes in the functioning of the LF Ministry

Ashis K. Biswas INTERVIEWS | 07 June 2001
'Left Front to Play More Active Role'
'Left Front to Play More Active Role'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

The CPI(M) feels that the recent massacres within the Nepalese royal family could have been the outcome of a conspiracy. "Naturally, no final comment can be made from here and a full scale investigation is called for. Since there was no post-mortem of the bodies, it is doubtful if some crucial details will be ever known," says Biman Bose, member of CPI(M)'s Politburo. Turning to the national scene, Bose said the Lok Morcha expected to increase its following among the country's peasantry, government employees, industrial workers and other sections of the working class, in the months ahead. During recent talks, CPI(M) leaders have suggested to leaders of the other morcha parties to launch a series of agitations to put pressure on the NDA government.

The chief architect of the Left Front's resounding victory in West Bengal, Bose said the recent agitation by BALCO workers clearly signalled a change in the mood of the beleaguered working classes, which would not accept every decision of the Central Government to weaken their position lying down."Only a determined, united struggle by the workers will compel their exploiters to re-examine their policies," he said.

Defending the recent changes introduced in the functioning of the sixth Left Front Ministry, Bose said the need to maintain speed in official work had become a priority. "Mr Jyoti Basu too had worked hard earlier, but of late his age was coming in the way. He repeatedly wanted to be relieved and informed the party formally several times, after which Bhattacharya (Buddhadev) was made the new Chief Minister." he said.

Bose felt the local media had raked up an avoidable controversy over Bhattacharya's jurisdiction, the role to be played by planning minister Nirupam Sen, officially designated as number two in the new Cabinet and the supervisory role of the Left Front. It is the Front which will guide the government on implementing official policies after discussing and finalising them, he said, making clear the Front's dominant role. (Observers say during Basu's time this was not the case as the man towered over the Front, the administration and the party. At the same time, the LF would make sure that there was no new personality cult around Bhattacharya as had happened with Jyoti Basu).

In a cautious comment on the beginning made by the sixth LF Ministry, Bose said "Smooth sailing so far." He acknowledged that the new Ministry was already facing some challenges -- four jute mills have been closed, a spurt in dacoities and anti-socials building illegal fish farms on river Ichamati, compounding flood problems in North 24 Parganas. "However, we are demolishing these farms and will see that such illegal practices do not occur," Bose said, referring to the recent demolition drive undertaken by the government, without reacting to suggestions that some CPI(M) leaders were locally involved.

Turning to the proposed involvement of the Indian Oil in the Haldia Petrochemical Project (HPL), Bose said that a major industrial house in Western India was known to be creating hurdles for the HPL. Even during the first few months of production, high quality of the products had been ensured, which has enabled the HPL to corner a sizable chunk of the Eastern Indian market already. "I have now seen units even in Bankura district using HPL raw materials," Bose said.

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