Kolkata: Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) leader and former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Tuesday attacked the ruling Trinamool Congress for the post-poll violence against Left activists and slammed the central government for failing to control the price rise of fuels and essential commodities.
In his first public address after the Left Front was voted out in the April-May assembly elections after 34 years in power, Bhattacharjee also said his party was taking lessons from its rout and would decide its future course after seeing the Mamata Banerjee government`s performance.
"The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) has completed two years but it has not managed to get pass marks. The ever rising prices of daily use commodities are a sign of its failure," he said.
"They have failed to control the price rise of essentials. They are only interested about the rich. We had earlier told the central government to make uniform public distribution system across the country but they have not agreed to it," said Bhattacharjee.
"The government should not increase the price of fuel further. We demand that government should cap the price rise of fuels and essential commodities," said Bhattacharjee, who is also a member of the CPM politburo.
Hitting out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his comment on the Left Front`s defeat, Bhattacharjee said: "He has said that our defeat is historic but he should keep one thing in mind that we have still got 41 percent votes of the total votes polled. But the central government is ruling the country sitting on the 29 percent votes they have got. This is also historic."
"We have been defeated in the elections. We are learning lessons from it. We are trying to find out what went wrong. We are trying to find out what we couldn`t do and what we have done. But above all we must also keep one thing in mind that near about one crore, ninety five lack people have voted in favour of Left Front," he said.
"We will take our lessons and go back to the people and the people will only decide which path we should take. We are keeping a close watch on the activities of the new government. We are watching what they are saying regarding agriculture, health and industry. We are listening to it carefully," said Bhattacharjee.
"The people of the state are also listening to it. We will decide our path after watching their path. But before all this the attacks on the Left Front activists should stop. The new government should look into the matter," said Bhattacharjee.
Without specifically naming the Trinamool, Bhattacharjee attacked it for perpetrating a political vendetta.
"Hundreds of our party offices have been destroyed. Our party flags have been removed and their flag has been put up in those offices. Many people have been killed. Just because we have lost, does that that means our workers should be killed?" he said.
"As many as 5,000 people have fled their homes due to fear. People are being compelled to donate towards party funds. They are attacking our panchayat members compelling them to join the other party or die. This is the situation all across the state. We cannot tolerate these killings. Government should take action against this," said Bhattacharjee.
In an obvious reference to the spate of arms recovery made allegedly belonging to the CPM cadres, Bhattacharjee said the people of Bengal cannot be fooled by such tricks.
"Recovery of arms covered in the red flag has become a daily phenomenon. Do they think the people of Bengal are blind? The people very well know what is true and what not. This way they cannot fool the public," he said.