Kozhikode (Kerala), April 4 (IANS) Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat Wednesday called for strengthening the party, saying only the Left and democratic parties could provide an alternative to the UPA and the NDA.
He was addressing the 20th CPI-M party congress here that began Wednesday. At least 734 delegates, 70 observers and 11 veterans are taking part.
'Both the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have failed and it is only the Left and democratic forces that can provide a suitable alternative. And for that to happen, the CPI-M should be strengthened across the country,' he said.
'A strong CPI-M means it will lead to Left unity because it is only we that can address the issues of the entire spectrum of society,' said Karat.
The party congress ends April 9.
'We need not look for models from outside because we can work on our policies and we can revise it according to the situation prevailing in our country,' said Karat.
He also slammed both the UPA and NDA and said their economic policies are one and the same.
'There is nothing to choose between the two. The eight years of the UPA government have led to unprecedented corruption levels. An effective Lokpal Bill is needed, but that alone won't be enough. It is only the CPI-M that has the moral authority to fight corruption and we will surge ahead because we will fight corruption and also seek electoral reforms,' added Karat.
'UPA governance has led to price rise and affected the poorer sections of society, besides farmer suicides are continuing and malnutrition of children has also not been addressed.
'Over the last two decades, the CPI-M has been fighting against the neo-liberalisation policies and we will intensify our struggle because the working class people are the most affected. Our party congress is going to discuss these issues,' said Karat.
Communist Party of India leader A.B. Bardhan also stressed the need for Left unity.
'For Left unity, our parties have to work together. Unity should be our slogan. I agree that there are differences between us but we have more commonalities than disagreements and a mechanism should be evolved to resolve the issues,' said Bardhan.
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