WB unit closer to Cong pact, Ker­ala CPM soft­ens stance

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New Delhi/Kochi: Even as CPM and Congress edged closer to a ‘tac­ti­cal al­liance’ in West Ben­gal, the Left party’s Ker­ala unit sprung a big­ger sur­prise, ton­ing down, with an eye on the 2019 polls, its crit­i­cism of the grand old party at its polit­buro meet­ing that con­cluded last week.

Though party man­agers ruled out any al­liance with Congress — CPM’s stated po­si­tion at its Party Congress in April 2018 — Ker­ala state sec­re­tary and polit­buro mem­ber Kodiy­eri Balakr­ish­nan’s nu­anced state­ment sug­gested that CPM is ready, at least un­til 2019 Lok Sabha polls, to sink its dif­fer­ences with Congress and to “take all tac­ti­cal steps to en­sure that BJP is ousted”. Congress ap­peared to echo the sen­ti­ment, with Ker­ala PCC chief Mul­la­pally Ra­machan­dran go­ing so far as to say on Sun­day that the party would ally with CPM pro­vided it gave up its vi­o­lent politics.

Ad­dress­ing a pub­lic meet­ing in Ker­ala, Ra­machan­dran said that CPM’s

If CPM is ready to shed its politics of vi­o­lence and Stal­in­ist thoughts, Congress is ready for an open dis­cus­sion to form a sec­u­lar demo­cratic front to fight fas­cism

MUL­LA­PALLY RA­MACHAN­DRAN

Ker­ala unit­was op­posed to the idea of col­lab­o­rat­ing with Congress to fight and de­feat BJP and Sangh Pari­var at the na­tional level. “If CPM is ready to shed its politics of vi­o­lence and Stal­in­ist thoughts, Congress is ready for an open dis­cus­sion to form a sec­u­lar demo­cratic front to fight fas­cism,” he said. “CPM sees Congress as the main op­po­si­tion. They don’t see BJP as the main en­emy. It’s not pos­si­ble for CPM to cre­ate a Left al­ter­na­tive at the na­tional level,” Ra­machan­dran said.

Both state­ments come at a time when dis­cus­sion on likely al­liances are un­der­way in CPM and Congress. On the one hand, while the is­sues of ‘tac­ti­cal un­der­stand­ing’ was taken up dur­ing the two-day polit­buro meet­ing, it also fig­ured at a meet­ing of PCC chiefs and leg­isla­tive party lead­ers with Rahul Gandhi and other cen­tral party lead­ers on Satur­day.

In West Ben­gal, while this will mean that Congress and Left par­ties will de­lib­er­ate on the prospects of a tieup, with fo­cus on “max­imis­ing the pool­ing of anti-BJP, anti-TMC votes”. While a sec­tion of Congress is keen on an al­liance, CPM is ex­pected to fi­nalise its po­si­tion at a meet­ing of party’s Cen­tral Com­mit­tee next month.

CPM chief Si­taram Yechury has main­tained that the party will de­cide on it’s poll part­ners based on statelevel equa­tions. On Satur­dayYechury said CPM’s poll strat­egy will de­pend com­pletely on lo­cal fac­tors and ne­ces­si­ties. New Delhi: The gov­ern­ment’s pen­sion scheme for un­or­gan­ised sec­tor work­ers has pro­vided for reg­u­lar­is­ing pay­ments for de­fault pe­riod to re­sume the plan in a bid to en­sure that sub­scribers, be­long­ing to un­der-priv­i­leged sec­tions, are not de­nied the re­tire­ment ben­e­fit.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion is­sued by the labour min­istry last week, how­ever, man­dates that sub­scribers will have to pay in­ter­est on the out­stand­ing amount, with the de­tails not clearly spelt out.

The scheme pro­vides exit op­tions for those sub­scrib­ing to it, with sub­scribers ex­it­ing within 10 years el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive their share of con­tri­bu­tion into their bank ac­counts, with in­ter­est. Af­ter 10 years, apart from his con­tri­bu­tion, the ac­tual ac­cu­mu­lated in­ter­est earned by the pen­sion fund or the in­ter­est at the sav­ings bank in­ter­est, which­ever is higher, will be paid.

In case of a sub­scriber’s death, the spouse can con­tinue with the scheme by pay­ing the con­tri­bu­tion or exit by re­ceiv­ing the share of con­tri­bu­tion paid by the sub­scriber along with ac­cu­mu­lated in­ter­est, as ac­tu­ally earned by the pen­sion fund or at the sav­ings bank in­ter­est rate, which­ever is higher.

Ker­ala PCC chief

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