NEW DELHI, January 4, 2014: Interpreting the success of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi elections as an indication of a craving within the electorate for a non-Congress, non-BJP political option, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday said: “India awaits a Left, democratic and secular alternative’’ but maintained that it has to be driven by policy and not electoral gains alone.
In the editorial in the party’s mouth piece People’s Democracy, the CPI(M) has sought to spell out this alternative policy trajectory in terms of universal rights to food security, free health care, free education besides right to employment or adequate unemployment allowance. “By thus empowering the people, their purchasing power will substantially increase generating the much-needed aggregate domestic demand which, in turn, will provide the impetus for manufacturing growth and, hence, employment. This would set in chain a motion of sustainable and more equitable growth trajectory.’’
As to how the resources will be generated for such a policy, the CPI(M) position is that money would be available if the “humongous’’ corruption scams are prevented and the massive tax concessions to the rich are instead used for public investments to build infrastructure generating substantial new employment.
Meanwhile, former CPI general secretary A. B. Bardhan said with the Congress and the BJP not being in a position to muster the required numbers in the next Lok Sabha elections, the “political space is open to the non-Congress, non-BJP parties together with the Left and other forces to form a new combination’’ and make a bid for power. “The emergence of the AAP in Delhi precisely shows that if the people see a viable alternative to the Congress and the BJP they vote for it in large numbers. Disgusted with the two parties of the establishment, they looked for a third alternative,’’ he said in an article.
But, having burned their fingers in the 2009 elections when their attempt to put together a pre-poll alliance did not go down well with the voters – a fact acknowledged by the CPI(M) in its analysis of the results – the two Left parties stressed the need for the political formation to be policy-driven. In fact, Mr. Bardhan makes a strong pitch for the Left parties to spell out a clear alternative policy and programme to meet the aspirations of an electorate disenchanted with both the Congress and the BJP.