CPI-M discusses strategy on ‘third front’ (Lead)

March 7th, 2009 - 11:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is eyeing the “secular parties” allied with the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a ‘third front’, party leaders said here Saturday.
The party’s central committee, which started its meeting here Saturday to finalise the election manifesto and candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, also discussed the strategy to be adopted to expand alliance with the like-minded parties, they said.

The CPI-M, which leads the Left parties including the Communist Party of India (CPI), Forward Bloc (FB) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), has already forged alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), AIADMK and Janta Dal-Secular (JD-S).

The Left parties would urge the “secular parties” in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the BJP-led Nationalist Democratic Alliance (NDA) to join the third alternative to form a non-Congress, non-BJP government at the centre after the polls, the party leaders said on condition of anonimity.

The two-day central committee meeting is being held at a time when the party faces major challenges in its bastions - West Bengal and Kerala.

In West Bengal, the CPI-M-led Left Front faces tough opposition from the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance. The Front suffered major setbacks in two recent assembly by-elections.

The central committee will chalk out a possible strategy to retain its Lok Sabha seats and strengthen the Left Front in West Bengal, party sources said.

The CPI-M lost Bishnupur (West) assembly seat in West Bengal by 30,395 votes to the Trinamool Congress last month. The Congress had withdrawn its candidate from the seat, which the CPI-M won in 2006 by 4,250 votes.

In January, the Trinamool Congress defeated the CPI in the by-election in the politically sensitive Nandigram assembly seat by 39,551 votes.

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