West Bengal Chief Minister offers a model for Kerala politicians.

The Kerala Left politicians are dreaming to capture power in the next Assembly elections. But Kerala politics is not one of black and white as in Bengal. Here the coalition politics have many shades of alignments and re-alignments.

The question is: do the Communists in this southern bastion has one more chance?
In earlier times such a question would have been rebuffed effectively by the Communist pioneers and veterans. Those were their best times. Not anymore.

The Communists in India have been lucky to have won some respectable number of MPs in the UPA coalition government. So, they imagine they have lots of relevance. But they don’t. The Prime Minister uses the West Bengal Chief Minister’s own turnaround as a proof of his own economic reforms agenda!

The Communists in India are in a desperate situation today. The West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had broken ranks with the so-called Central polit-bureau, a group of office-going type functionaries in the Delhi’s more affluent surroundings with no direct touch whatever with the people in the interiors, the Communists of both the CPI and the CPI(M)know well their time is up. The CPI is in decline. This is official. The 80 year old parent party that split into two in 1964, is officially the CPI (I) is facing so many problems. First, the 80 year-old Secretary, A.B.Bardhan is not keeping good health and a replacement is not in sight. The party has just 9 MPs in the 2004 Lok Sabha. The CPI is seeking a merger with its powerful rival, the CPI (M) and the latter is not too willing for any obvious reasons.

In Kerala, there was this many-day conference of intellectuals and party think tanks not long ago. CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat spoke at the AKG Centre for Research and Studies. On what? What else but the coming elections and what to offer to the voters. The voters had given in the last elections a good lesson to the Communists. They voted overwhelmingly and Ommen Chandy, the current CM, had done what other could not have done better. Kerala is a problem state both from the human resources point of view as well as the natural resources point of view.
The Chief Minister Mr.Chandy also spoke along with Karat and what the CM said was not new. The Centre doesn’t give enough funds, doesn’t allow the states to borrow funds, and the state had achieved many social targets, so the Centre doesn’t give further funds for the same targets.
So, where do we go from these stands?

Kerala’s finances are in a mess. The latest Plan allocation for the annual plan at Rs.6,210 crores was an occasion to find out that the fiscal responsibility in the state is zero. Borrowings are channeled into expenditure. Debt ration, debt servicing commitments are above average and outstanding borrowings are almost double the total revenue receipts in Kerala. “This is likely to affect the credit worthiness of the state and constrain Plan performance”. The Left is blind to economic realities and only political defeats will make them awake to world realities.
So, it is nice to hear the CPI (M) stalwarts now have changed their tune. Karat, the Secretary, calls for FDI as it admits that capitalism, more than ever, had demonstrated its resilience has given wealth creation a whole new set of asumptions about development priorities. Better late than never!
You have to go for new alternatives and also for a new generation of well-trained manpower. No investments or talents would come unless the opportunities for growth are irresistible.
Now, other states like Karnataka and AP are in a development, positive mood, be it horticulture, new crops or new agro processing activities.
The Kerala press can cover more of these developments. Interested parties can access our Internet:www.agricultureinformation.com.

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