"BJP has been engaging itself in politicising the issue to gain political mileage," CPI national secretary D Raja told reporters here, a day after the fishermen arrived in Tamil Nadu after being pardoned by Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
    
"If the release of the five fishermen was because of BJP's initiatives why were all Indian fishermen arrested or detained by Sri Lanka not released and why fishing vessels impounded by Sri Lanka authorities not retrieved," he asked.

The release of the fishermen was a welcome development and everyone was happy about it. However, there should be no attempt to politicise it, he said. Raja wanted the Katchatheevu pact between India and Sri Lanka to be revisited to ensure traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen.

Accusing the BJP-led NDA at the Centre of posing challenges to principles of parliamentary democracy, Raja alleged that the RSS and its allies were vigorously indulging in activities to decide the cultural and social principles to be followed by the Government.
    
"This is highly condemnable," he said. Stressing that there should be a joint initiative by the left to oppose the "pro-Corporate" policies of the Centre, he said the left parties would be holding week-long protests nationwide from December 8-14 against the 'anti-people' policies of the Narendra Modi-led government.

"Wrong policies of the Centre, including the move to let 49 percent FDI in insurance sector and atrocities against women and weaker sections, would be discussed in depth at the CPI national conference to be held here for five days from March 25 next.
    
CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy said without eradicating poverty, the slogan of 'Clean India' would have no relevance and would have no impact at all.
    
There was a need for the left to expand into new areas, he said but did not elaborate. Raja was here with Reddy to acquaint themselves with the arrangements made by the CPI local unit in the context of the party's 22nd national conference. This was the first time that the conference is being held in Puducherry, Raja said.

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