Harkishan Singh Surjeet, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
A very mischievous news item has appeared in today's edition of The Times of India. Titled "Basu against backing Laloo", the Calcutta datelined item alleges that "Chief Minister Jyoti Basu has opposed the CPM's decision to support the Laloo Prasad Yadav-led RJD in the recently held Assembly elections in Bihar." This is nothing but a figment of imagination. Shri Jyoti Basu is party to the decision taken by the CPI(M) to have an alliance with the RJD in Bihar, in order to defeat the BJP-led communal alliance, the NDA. Comrade Jyoti Basu is fully in agreement with the decision taken by the party and hence there is no question of his "Going against the party line" as the Times of India report put it.
The report further states that Basu had reportedly told CPI General Secretary, A.B. Bardhan that he "supported the CPI's view that the left should not have any ties with Laloo". Com. Jyoti Basu, spoke to me this morning and was very agitated about the concocted claims made in the report. Jyoti Basu said that it was part of a conspiracy to defame the Party and asserted that he had made no such remark while speaking to Bardhan, whom he met while attending the funeral of CPI leader, Geeta Mukherjee. In fact Shri Jyoti Basu had conveyed to Shri Bardhan that the CPI(M) had been an ally of the RJD, as it was the only force that could defeat the NDA in the elections. Despite the tremendous propaganda predicting a sweeping victory for the NDA and a total rout for the RJD, all such predictions turned to be false.
The news item is dubious as it is aimed at helping the NDA alliance in Bihar, which has been installed in power, misusing the office of the Governor.
It is unfortunate that the paper has dragged the name of Jyoti Basu to boost the chances of the NDA sticking to power without a clear cut mandate from the people. It is the RJD-led alliance that has emerged as the single largest entity in the assembly elections.