Kozhikode, Apr 4: CPI-M today said corruption was an offshoot of the economic policies followed by “neo-liberal” regimes and only a Left-democratic alternative could fight the nexus of big business, ruling politicians and bureaucrats “looting” public funds and scarce resources in the country.
“Loot of natural resources had reached unparalleled heights during the UPA regime,” CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat claimed, inaugurating the 20th party Congress here.
Karat said a strong and effective Lokpal to check corruption among public servants alone was not enough.
“The fight against corruption should be directed against neo-liberal regimes and the corrupt nexus which facilitates the loot of public funds and resources,” he said.
Karat said two decades of liberalisation in the country had led to unprecedented increase in inequalities.
“As a result, India has produced some of the richest people in the world while keeping the vast millions deprived of the basic necessities of life,” he said.
On economic policies, he said there was no difference between the Congress and BJP, which were “wedded to liberalism”.
The recent elections to five state Assemblies had proved that people had discarded the two combines led by Congress and BJP and were looking for an alternative.
CPI-M would concentrate on strengthening Left unity and joint actions with other democratic and secular parties on people's issues, federalism and defence of secularism, to forge such an alternative, he said.
Karat said CPI-M would seek to apply Marxist-Leninist theories to the “concrete conditions of India to chalk out its revolutionary path, without emulating models from abroad.” Karat alleged that the UPA-II government in its pursuit of “neo-liberal” policies had heaped more burden on the working people.
India's domestic economic policies were being influenced by the Manmohan Singh government's strategic alliance with the US, he charged.
“The government seeks to deny the reality of poverty by fixing fraudulent poverty lines and refuses to bring a food security bill which can guarantee foodgrains under a universal public distribution system,” he said.
He also wanted the Left to fight against Hindutva forces with an agenda “inimical” to the secular-democratic system and values of the country. The minorities faced constant attacks in states ruled by the BJP, he alleged.
The CPI-M would fight for the rights of minorities, but would counter communalism and extremism within minorities.
Karat said the CPI-M had identified the shortcomings and weaknesses in the political and organisational spheres that led to its debacle in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and 2011 Assembly polls and would take steps to correct them.
“The ruling classes and imperialism have targeted the CPI-M and the Left in West Bengal as it is the strongest base of the party,” he said.
Presiding, Politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai said the CPI-M congress would take up political and ideological resolutions and amendments to party constitution, mainly to limit the number of terms of party secretaries from the General Secretary to the branch level, to three.
CPI-M's Kerala secretary and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan welcomed the delegates.