'Third Alternative' must for coming polls: Left leaders

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Hyderabad, Mar 23 (UNI) Urging Left parties to set aside 'little differences' among them on specific issues, top CPI (M) and CPI leaders today said it was high time to take every effort to build a 'Left and Democratic Alternative' to the Congress and the BJP through common struggles on people's issues.

Inaugurating the 20th National Congress of the CPI here, Party National General Secretary A B Bardhan said, ''we have to further strengthen and consolidate the Left unity for it is the only way we can advance to build the Third Alternative.'' Stating there were other secular and democratic parties and groups who were also looking for an alternative, Mr Bardhan said, ''we have to interact and try to draw them into common struggles for forging such an alternative based on a Left and Democratic Programme.'' Observing the latest resounding victory of the Left Front in Tripura showed the confidence of the people in the Left, he said, ''we have by our policies and actions generated support among large sections of the Indian people.'' Addressing the Congress, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said the Left initiative was required for creating and presenting a third alternative before the people. Co-ordination and united approach of the CPI and CPI(M) are crucial in that respect.

''As for the Left parties, it is not abnormal to have differences on certain issues on occasions. But nothing should be done which will weaken the Left unity,'' Mr Karat said, adding that the CPI(M) would sincerely work to strengthen the Left unity for the creation of the Third Alternative.

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