M A I N   N E W S

CPM plans stir during Budget session
Privatisation of airports, Iran nuclear issue
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, February 10
CPM general secretary Prakash Karat today reiterated that they (Left parties) would launch agitations from February 16, the day of the opening of the Budget session of the Lok Sabha, both inside and outside Parliament against the UPAís policies on the privation of airports, Iran nuclear issue, FDIís retail investments and other anti-people policies.

The general secretary also announced that the party and its allies would launch a countrywide agitation from March 2 to oppose the US President George W. Bushís official visit to India.

He said they would demand his removal from the country. He said they did not approve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singhís stand on the Iran nuclear issue as it would affect the nationís interest.

Mr Karat criticised the US Ambassadorís writing a letter to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, which, according to him, was a direct interference in the countryís internal affairs.

The two-day CPM politburo meeting that ended here today also decided to observe March 23 as ďanti-imperialist dayĒ to mark the 75th death anniversary Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

He, however, said they were neither discussing the withdrawal of support from the government, nor making any rethinking on the issue.

But they would certainly put pressure on the UPA for withdrawing their anti-people policies. They would invite non-Congress secular parties to join them on the stir, Mr Karat added.

The politburo also decided not to forge alliance with Karunakaranís party in the Assembly elections in Kerala. In Bengal, the Left parties would jointly fight against the Congress and the BJP.

Interestingly, Arun Jaitley, who met Mamata Banerjee here today to finalise their poll strategy against the CPM, said it would be wise for the Congress to join anti-Left parties against the CPM in the Assembly poll.

Mr Karat said they would finalise their strategy on how to put pressure on the Manmohan Singh government at a meeting with other Left parties on February 13.

He said they would review the overall performance of the UPA government vis-ŗ-vis their relations with the UPA and decide their future course of action accordingly.

CITU president M.K. Pande said they would invite INTUC and other trade union organisations, including the BJPís trade wing, to join their agitation against the privatisation of the airports and other anti-labour policies.

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