CPM likely to identify a middle ground on economic policies

Written by AM Jigeesh | Coimbatore, Mar 28 | Updated: Mar 30 2008, 03:14am hrs
In a significant move, the CPI(M) congress which begins on Saturday here, may be looking at affecting a nuanced course-correction in its outlook on economic policies.

The party will try to identify a rational middle ground which it hopes will justify its stand on controversial economic policy matters like liberalisation that often is viewed as reeking of double standards when it opposes them at the Centre but accepts them in Left-ruled states.

We will try to answer the dialectical question on how to run a government and lead the peoples movements without contradicting the two stands, a senior party leader said.

While conceding that the CPI(M) did find itself in a troubling position on such controversial issues, senior party leaders sought to put the blame on the reforms process initiated after 1991 and the manner in which Centre-State relations played a role subsequently in forcing economic policies on states. After liberalisation, the entire framework of Centre-state relations has been changed. States are being pushed to adopt liberalised policy measures. West Bengal and Kerala therefore could not become islands, another party leader maintained.

The state governments in West Bengal and Kerala cannot always stand against the tide. But in other states, we were in forefront of struggles against exploiter SEZs and inhuman land acquisition. We want our governments to be an alternative so that the cadres in other states can tell the respective state governments that they can model Kerala or West Bengal on such issues, he added. For example, one draft proposal recommends that Left-led governments should impose a surcharge on goods purchased from organised retail shops, which Kerala has already implemented.

The party therefore will try to find a rational middle ground on issues such as SEZs, FDI and the larger framework of neo-liberal economic policies even as comrades from states other than Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura find it tough to take a position on them.

Apart from its routine subjects like the struggle against imperilalism and communalism the party Congress will strive to find an alternative, which can match its rhetoric, which often found as warning notes to the UPA government in Delhi. Sources in the party said the focus of the Congress will be the separate section in the political and organisational report, that is the role and experience of the Left-led governments.

A draft document on the issue, sources said, is being drafted in such a way that the Left led governments cannot be blamed for such happenings.