India File

‘There’s been a shift in the national mood’

Poornima Joshi | Updated on December 31, 2018 Published on December 31, 2018

Prakash Karat

Politburo member of the CPI (M) and former general secretary of the party, Prakash Karat, speaks to BusinessLine on the key political issues in the new year, and the emergence of new political equations. Excerpts:

How do you analyse the recent Assembly elections and their impact on national politics in the run-up to the general elections?

Certainly, 2018 witnessed a shift in the national mood and public discourse getting focussed around real issues of jobless growth, agricultural distress and the disastrous impact of this government’s anti-poor policies. The Left has been part of a sustained struggle on farmers’ issues across the country and we now see that voters’ mood has changed. The BJP will, of course, try to bend it around non-issues aimed at achieving nothing but communal polarisation. But I do not see them finding a resonance among the voters any more.

How do you view the Congress’s response to these issues? The Left did not align with the Congress in the recent Assembly polls...

Well, the Congress has responded positively to the distress of the farmers; at least there is a recognition of the acute problems faced by the common people. We do not believe that there would be a national alliance, a Mahagathbandhan as it were. These elections would be an aggregate of all States where regional and national players would forge alliances to keep the BJP out. The Congress would chart its own course in these alliances. It would be State as opposed to national coalitions.

Does a hung Parliament bode well for addressing pressing policy concerns?

The assumption in this question is that coalitions do not do well in terms of policy-planning whereas the clear message from the last election is that a majority government has done much worse.

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Published on December 31, 2018
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