No division in party over keeping Congress at bay: CPI-M


Kolkata : The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Saturday denied any division within the party on the issue of not supporting the Congress in government formation after the polls, but said it would decide its strategy once the results were available.

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Addressing a meet-the-press at the Kolkata Press Club here, CPI-M politburo member Biman Bose said his party and the other Left outfits were fighting the elections to defeat both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and install a Third Front-led regime.

“There is no division in the party on keeping the Congress and the BJP at bay and to install an alternative Third Front government. During the last Lok Sabha polls we had given a call to defeat the communal BJP. That time we did not categorically say defeat the Congress. But this time, we want both the Congress and the BJP to be defeated,” Bose said.

The CPI-M has not spoken in unison on the issue so far. While party general secretary Prakash Karat has ruled out supporting any Congress-led combination to form the government, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has said that the issue was “open”.

Bose described as hypothetical a query from a scribe who wanted to know under what condition his party will sit in the opposition in the next Lok Sabha. “The final phase of the election is not yet over. The election results are yet to be announced. We will decide our strategy and tactics after reviewing the post-poll situation.”

The senior CPI-M leader said it was the first time that people have a pre-poll alternative coalition to the Congress and the BJP in the form of the Third Front. “The earlier coalition governments were formed after the polls through discussions.”

Bose averred that the Third Front would expand after the elections with parties now allied with other groups – read United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) – switching their allegiance to this combination.

“We are in talks with several parties. Lots of these parties are positive. There are a number of parties who do not subscribe to the ideologies of leading parties (Congress and the BJP) in these alliances,” he said.