The CPI(M) had taken an ideological stand against State bifurcation, but now that the State is divided, the party does not want to dwell on the past. Elections are the mandate for the future and the CPI(M) is committed for reconstruction of Telangana.
Still hopeful of non-Congress and BJP alliances, CPI(M) Telangana State committee secretary Tammineni Veerabhadram says that their intention is not to let BJP and Congress to consolidate. He unveils the party’s electoral strategy in an interview with The Hindu.
When you are open to alliances with other political parties, why can’t the two Left parties work together and consolidate your vote share and thereby electoral prospects?
All the Left front parties, including CPI,CPI(M), Forward Block, Revolutionary Socialist Party at the all-India level resolved to work on a common principle of anti BJP and anti-Congress plank. We are bound by the same principle in Telangana and Andhra regions. But the CPI deviated from this principle in Telangana by going with Congress, as they both supported bifurcation. But we are still optimistic of working with CPI if it reconsiders its truck with Congress.
Are you seriously considering an alliance with Telangana Rashtra Samithi ?
Even if we forge an alliance with TRS, it is in conformity with our all India principle. TRS has no truck with Congress. TDP is more or less allied with the BJP.
But then there is speculation that the TRS may have post-poll alliance with BJP?
It is not for us to think which party would go which way after the elections. All regional parties are opportunistic and play their cards in what they think to the best interests of their region. Our paramount interest now is not to let BJP and Congress consolidate their vote share. If parties which seek anti-Congress and anti-BJP vote from people and go back on that after elections, they will be accountable to their voters.
You have only one legislator in the present Assembly. What is your strategy to increase your strength?
This is a difficult time for us, but we are working doubly hard to widen our base. Despite Telangana agitation, we could consolidate and expand our base among panchayats, anganwadi workers, tribal population by campaigning for implementation of Forest Act, SC, ST sub-plan. We did take a stand against bifurcation and the elections followed soon after division. Past is past. Congress and TRS are seeking votes for achieving Telangana. It’s time to look ahead. We have a clear strategy for comprehensive development of Telangana with social justice.
How many seats you propose to contest ?
We have already announced candidates for 17 Assembly and three Lok Sabha seats. We are also interested in Mahbubabad LS seat. But if there is alliance with TRS, CPI, then these seats may come down.
What is your election manifesto for Telangana?
We have a common manifesto for entire country. But we will bring out an additional booklet for Telangana with focus on welfare, social justice, comprehensive development and cooperation between the two Telugu states for mutual advantage. Telangana would need more welfare spending . Social justice does not mean giving one chief minister post or MP seat. Extending health, education, irrigation, drinking water to the downtrodden in remote areas alone will bring equity and social justice.
Is Left ideology losing its sheen with parties like Lok Satta and Aam Admi Party taking the new political space?
On the contrary, Left parties will play a significant role as people’s frustration and disenchantment with economic reforms is evident now. The 2008 economic downturn, declining growth, increase in unemployment, price rise made people question the present policies. Left parties know how to channel people’s anger to get tangible policy corrections.
(Courtesy : The Hindu)