CPI-M divided on supporting Congress-led government

April 24th, 2009 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Ram Vilas Paswan New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) seems to be a divided house on the issue of supporting a Congress-led government at the centre after the elections. While party chief Prakash Karat is insistent that the Left will not provide support, senior party colleagues from West Bengal have not ruled out the possibility.
Party general secretary Prakash Karat Friday reiterated: “We are for a non-Congress secular government after the elections.”

However, his colleagues in the politburo and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and party state secretary Biman Bose do not seem to share his stern view.

Bose had told reporters in Kolkata last week: “We will be in a position to comment on the formation of the government only after the results are out,” keeping all options open.

Bhattacharjee, in an interview to CNN-IBN channel Friday, said: “We are not committing anything (on a post-poll alliance with the Congress). After elections, when the situation will arise we will discuss on the concrete situation at that time.”

He also did not rule out the possibility of Left parties joining the new government.

“We discussed (in the politburo) and decided that if the situation demands and if we can play a meaningful role in the government, then we have to think over and we may join this government,” Bhattacharjee said.

Karat has rejected overtures from two Congress allies saying his party would not abandon its Third Front allies after the polls.

“Don’t try to isolate the Left from our allies. We will not abandon our allies,” Karat said.

He was replying to questions on whether his party was under pressure after the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan said that there was a possibility of a post-poll alliance with the Left parties if the UPA falls short of majority.

Asked whether the CPI-M would consider supporting a Congress-led government if they remove Manmohan Singh as prime ministerial candidate, Karat said “Congress party is Congress party” and its policies would not change whoever becomes the leader.

Though he maintained that his party would have no tie-up with the Congress, in case the Third Front forms the government it would not be averse to taking outside support of the Congress.

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