Thursday, May 1, 2014

Left parties have a greater role to play in divided Andhra Pradesh

At a time when corporatisation of politics has become a bitter reality and crony capitalism is perceived a looming threat, the Left parties do have a greater role in fighting the unwelcome trend. The current election is a do-or-die battle for the Left movement in the State, says CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu in a special interview to The Hindu given on ‘May Day’.

Can the shrinking political space be taken as a barometer of the acceptance level of the Left parties’ ideology?
The Left parties are indeed yielding space to others. The flexible labour policies, which the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party are advocating and have even included in their respective manifestos, will deal a deathblow to workers’ basic rights. It is a survival issue for the working classes. However, we stick to our ideology and believe that it will be ever relevant.

Bifurcation has happened. Now, what is the political space available for the Left parties in the two States?
The Left parties have always been the agenda-setters in the State. The communist movement is always strong in Khammam and Nalgonda districts of the unified State. When they have become part of Telangana, the Left has a great role to play in that State. In Seemandhra, our role is always marginal in the last four decades and it continues to be the same. If we do not strengthen our position at least now, we will not be able to play any role in future.

The corporate world is dictating terms in the current elections. What kind of threat do you foresee for the democracy if the trend continues?
Corporatisation of politics is an offshoot of liberalisation policy. The political parties are dependent more on the business world to get going. Crony capitalism that the country is witnessing now certainly makes life easy for the corporate world and difficult for the common man. Post-elections, the working classes will see more attacks and suppression of their rights.

Why have you chosen to contest in Tirupati (SC) Lok Sabha seat?
Tirupati has a prominent place across the world. Post-bifurcation, all eyes are on Tirupati as a growing city in Seemandhra. Apart from the Tirumala temple, it is already an educational hub and the region is poised to develop industrially, with a couple of ports and a 30,000 MW power plant coming up in Nellore district (coming under Tirupati LS constituency). There is a huge Dalit population, especially the downtrodden Yanadi tribal community. The party has a better opportunity to serve the working classes and the poor here.

Why did you choose to ally with Jai Samaikyandhra Party (JSP)? How is the alliance doing?
Before the birth of JSP, the CPI (M) was determined to go alone in the elections, as the TDP looked the BJP way and the CPI supported the Congress. When the journey is lonely, why not take the company of a like-minded ‘non-Congress non-BJP’ outfit? The agreement is complex, but the alliance is smooth. We will definitely leave our mark.
(Courtesy : The Hindu)