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Cpi Warns United Front Govt On Price Rise


The Communist Party of India (CPI) has warned that if the government did not mend its ways, especially with regard to its economic policies, rightist forces would gain from the situation.

The CPIs warning came in the wake of growing prices of essential commodities, specially wheat and atta.

The three-day national council of the party, which concluded in Mumbai on Monday, noted that public dissatisfaction with the United Front (UF) government was growing. If the present trend continued, the party said, one cannot rule out the possibility of the Centre-Left giving way to the Centre-Right, or even an avowedly Rightist party.

The CPIs warning assumes significance in view of the fact that the Congress has already lambasted the government for its failure to stem price-hike and one of its functionaries has hinted that it can be made an excuse to withdraw support from the government.

The CPI council reviewed the functioning of the seven months of the UF government. The issues on which it okayed the governments approach include the successful completion of assembly elections and installation of an elected government in Jammu and Kashmir, moves to usher in an era of healthier Centre-state relations, and efforts to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at bay, both at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh.

Party general secretary A B Bardhan, however, used harsh words for the governments economic policies and observed that the UF common minimum programme had assured change and not continuation of the Congress policies. Unfortunately, the government cannot be said to be passing these tests, mainly in relation to economic policies and in relation to its own functioning.

While the governments moves to disinvest shares in public sector undertakings (PSUs), liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) regime and the proposed privatisation of the insurance sector came in for criticism in the meeting, the CPI also expressed its dissatisfaction with the ad-hocism in the functioning of the government.

Bardhan said that the functioning of the government left much to be desired and there seemed to be a lack of coordination among all constituents of the front.

He also warned the government that any move to amend the existing patents law should have adequate safeguards to protect our peoples and our national interests, rather than rushing to carry out dictates thrust on us.

Bardhan held that the Left parties must keep a constant watch over the UFs performance and more intervention was required for the proper implementation of the fronts common minimum programme.

He also said that UF leaders should not worry about the longevity of the government.

The UF governments record of deeds and its programme would be the best answer in the aftermath of any withdrawal of support should such a threat materialise, he observed.

First Published: Wed, January 08 1997. 00:00 IST