'Third alternative' to be main agenda of CPM congress

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) Over 700 delegates will deliberate on finding ways and means to build a 'third alternative'' and expand the CPI(M) base beyond its traditional strongholds of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura during the six-day party Congress beginning on Saturday in Coimbatore.

The 20th CPM Congress will also review threadbare the party's relationship with the ruling United Progressive Alliance, price rise of all essential commodities, ''improper implementation'' of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Indo-US nuclear deal and the government's alleged deliberate attempt to weaken the PDS system, top party leaders told UNI here.

The Left leaders said the congress will discuss about the constituents of the third alternative and its approach on economic, political and foreign policy issues. ''There will be a proper discussion on these issues,'' Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said.

Representatives from as many as 25 countries will participate in the six-day meeting, party Polit Bureau members Sitaram Yechury and M K Pandhe said here adding that the congress will finalise the party's tactics for the coming three years and its resolve to expand its base in the Hindi heartland.

The party congress, to be concluded on April 3 with the holding of a huge public rally, will elect a 75-member Central Committee -- the highest decision making authority during the interregnum. It will also elect the party general secretary and a central control commission which adjudicates on complaints of indiscipline. In all, the party has received over 4000 amendments and 713 suggestions pertaining to the draft of the political resolution and the political-organisational report.

The other challenging task before the party is to prevent the re-entry of BJP at the Centre, the Left leaders said adding that the congress will also discuss further steps to protect the religious minorities, who they said are part and parcel of the country's rich cultural diversity.

They said communalism was a grave threat to the country's unity and integrity as ''while we seek to strengthen the unity of the exploited classes to advance the revolutionary movement, communal forces disrupt such unity through communal polarisation.'' The party congress will also chalk out a course of action to prevent the attempts by the Congress and the BJP to create a two party system and the UPA government's attempt to carry forward its economic agenda.

UNI KSA/NAB RP RN1622

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