Non-BJP, non-Congress govt needed: Bardhan

Bhubaneswar: Need for a non-BJP and non-Congress alternative for next general elections, FDI in retail, food security and UPA government's direct cash transfer scheme are among a host of issues being discussed at CPI's national executive meeting that began here on Friday.

Top brass of CPI including stalwarts like A B Bardhan, D Raja, Atul Anjam and leaders in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are participating in the three-day meeting, though party general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy was unable to attend.

Being held for the first time in Bhubaneswar, the national executive meeting, presided by senior leader Jogendra Singh Yadav, has taken up a wide range of issues including problems of farmers and moves to disinvest profit making PSUs like aluminium giant NALCO for discussion.

"Besides undertaking a thorough analysis of the prevailing political situation in the country, the meeting is holding discussions to chalk out party's strategies for next elections," senior leader D Raja said.

Both Raja and CPI veteran A B Bardhan said the national executive would also discuss party's plans for the forthcoming assembly elections in some states.

While the meeting remained closed to the media, senior leaders told reporters at the sidelines that the focus was on the need to evolve a non-BJP and non-Congress secular and democratic combination for next elections.

Accusing the Congress-led UPA government at the centre of following "anti-poor" and "pro-corporate" economic policies, the CPI leaders at the meet strongly opposed the direct cash transfer scheme and FDI in retail and other sectors saying these would hit the poor hard.

Slamming direct cash transfer scheme, Bardhan has already stated that the party would will soon start a campaign by collecting at least 5 crore signatures opposing the scheme.

CPI leaders feared that the scheme may be extended to food items adversely affecting food security of the country.

Hitting out at UPA for its policies, Raja said "now India needs a government at the Centre which will be pro-farmer and pro-poor. Both Congress and BJP are found to be pro-corporate."

Raja also claimed that the FDI in retail sector could help a section of rich farmers, but not crores of small and marginal farmers living across the country.

Besides adopting a number of resolutions on political, economic and other issues, the CPI meet is also likely to discuss threadbare problems of farmers and farm labourers and disinvestment moves in profit making PSUs like Nalco.

Resolutions on POSCO and Vedanta are also expected to be adopted at the meeting, CPI's Odisha unit secretary Dbakar Nayak said.