An alliance of non-Congress and non-BJP political parties at an all India level will be announced in two weeks time, CPI(M) General secretary  Prakash Karat said today here. “This alliance will work towards forming an alternative to Congress and BJP that are competing with each other to be more neo-liberal than the other,” he said. 

He also said that Congress is going to suffer badly in the coming Lok Sabha polls due to the anger of people against rising food prices, massive corruption, growing unemployment and severe agrarian crisis.

Karat was addressing a media conference at AP state committee headquarters, M B Bhavan, today.  Prakash Karat and Polit Bureau member  Sitaram Yechury are in Hyderabad to participate in the two-day state committee meeting of the Party that began today.

Prakash Karat clarified that this is not a third front but an alliance for the parliamentary elections. “After elections whether we will give it a concrete shape depends on the outcome of the elections”, he said.

The CPI(M) leader also announced that on 5th February around ten non-Congress and non-BJP parties will hold a meeting and announce their common approach to issues relating to the vote-on-account session of the Parliament. AIADMK, SP, JD(U), JD(S) and the four Left parties and some more regional parties would be participating, he said.  Karat charged the UPA-II government of trying to push ahead with many other Bills during this session, which is normally held to just pass the vote-on-account budget. These parties will adopt a common approach on these issues.

Karat said the BJP is trying to cash in on the anti-Congress feelings among the people. But Modi’s vision of development is nothing but a more extreme version of neo-liberalism and totally pro-corporate, he said. Only non-Congress, non-BJP secular parties can take on the BJP’s divisive agenda effectively.

Prakash Karat strongly objected to attempts to impose restrictions on political parties manifestoes. The Supreme Court had directed Election Commission to frame guidelines to prevent announcements of “freebies” in manifestoes of political parties. Karat asked what is a free promise. The right to get free education or access to health will not be allowed to be promised? He asserted there should be no restrictions on political parties in framing their manifestoes. It should be left to the people to judge the promises and act accordingly.

 Responding to a question about CPI(M)’s tie-up in Andhra Pradesh, Karat said that the ongoing state committee is discussing the electoral tactics to be adopted in the state. But given the fluid political situation prevailing in the state, a final decision will be taken only after the outcome of the state bifurcation Bill in Parliament is known by February end. Asked about possibility of electoral understanding with YSR Congress party, Karat said the CPI(M) considers it as a non-Congress secular opposition party. About AAP, he said it cannot be a substitute to Left parties. There is still no clarity on their policies and only after they are made clear would CPI(M) comment, he said.

CPI(M) state secretariat member Y Venkateshwara Rao said that the state committee, which met under the presidentship of secretariat member G Nagaiah, strongly condemned the brutal killing of Julakanti Pulinder Reddy, CPI(M) sarpanch of Narsimhulagudem village in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh on 30th January. The meeting paid homage to the martyr by observing two-minute silence.