CPI-M discusses Third Front against Congress


New Delhi: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo met here Thursday and discussed the possibility of bringing together the scattered socialists to form a Third Front to take on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

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The meeting, which was earlier scheduled for two days, ended Thursday as the legislative assembly sessions are on in party-ruled states of Kerala and West Bengal, CPI-M sources said.

Earlier in the day, a CPI-M leader said the politburo was discussing a proposal put forward by party general secretary Prakash Karat that the Communists and socialists should forge a third force in national politics.

“Formation of a viable political alternative is an important matter,” a party leader, who did not wish to be named, told IANS.

The CPI-M’s strategy is to bring together a variety of groups from the socialist camp to sharpen the Left attacks on the government on the India-US civil nuclear liability bill as well as price rise.

On the CPI-M’s radar for the unity moves are the Samajwadi Party, the Janata Dal-Secular as well as Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), all of which are home to votaries of the Indian socialist movement.

The CPI-M would try to form an alliance of secular political forces to fight against the Congress government’s policies both inside and outside parliament, added Sitaram Yechury, a politburo member.

Yechury told reporters midway through the politburo meeting that at least 25 lakh people would take part in a “jail bharo” campaign organised by the Left parties against spiralling pricess of food items April 8.

But he added that there would only be picketing in West Bengal, a state the CPI-M has ruled since 1977.

The meeting also discussed about the venue of the extended central committee meeting to be held in August. “We will decide who all should be invited to it,” politburo member and trade unionist M.K. Pandhe said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattacharjee did not attend the politburo meeting. According to party sources, Bhattacharjee was busy with the assembly session in Kolkata.