Happy that BJD broke with BJP: Karat


New Delhi : Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat Sunday expressed happiness over the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) breakup and said a decision on aligning with the Orissa party would be taken soon.

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“We are happy to hear the news of the BJD breaking off from the BJP and NDA (National Democratic Alliance). Politburo member Sitaram Yechury is scheduled to meet Navin Patnaik (Orissa chief minister and BJD chief) and other leaders,” Karat told a press conference here.

His comments come as CPI-M and Communist Party of India (CPI) leaders in Orissa pledged to support the BJD government after the BJP announced withdrawal of support.

Karat said that Yechury has left for Bhubaneswar for talks with Patnaik and a decision on an alliance would be taken after he returns. “We will be meeting again on March 14 to take a decision about the alliance,” he said.

“It is a good development. After the Kandhamal attack on Christians, our leaders met Navin Patnaik and told him that it is untenable for him to continue with the BJP,” he said. Kandhamal district in Orissa witnessed massive violence against Christians after the murder of a Hindu leader Aug 23 last year.

Karat said the BJD had been in touch with the CPI-M for the past few days.

The communist leader said Patnaik had gone to meet the Orissa governor in Bhabaneswar Sunday with 78 MLAs, including the Left MLAs.

“The BJP wants the Patnaik government to be dismissed on the grounds that it is a minority government,” he said, adding that the Left wants an assembly session called for a floor test. “That’s the only course. Any other would be undemocratic.”

Speaking about the third front, Karat said: “The country now requires an alternative policy to that pursued by the BJP and Congress. We need an alternative economic policy, alternative equity and justice and an independent foreign policy. We are confident that non-BJP and non-Congress parties and forces would come together with us.”