Left for specific cooperation with UNPA on national issues

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New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) A day after the Left and the UNPA jointly announced a week-long protest against the soaring price rise, top Communist leaders today foresaw a greater role for regional parties in evolving a broader alliance on all national issues.

Top Left leaders stressed that the CPI(M) and the CPI had adopted ''political tactics'' at their recently-held respective Congress' that there could not be an all India alliance in the given situation.

In an ''issue-based alliance'' with the UNPA, the Left parties on Sunday announced a week-long nationwide agitation against the price rise from April 16, a move indicating that the runaway inflation was going to inflict major political damage on the Congress.

Talking to UNI, CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said the cooperation between the UNPA and the Left against the price rise was issue-specific.

This time the UNPA has joined hands with the Left parties on the price rise matter while earlier it had cooperated with the Communists on the farmers' issues, they added.

''On both the occasions, the Left leaders had clarified that it is not a political alliance. The political tactics adopted by the two Left parties at their Congress' clearly mentioned that there cannot be an all India electoral alliance,'' said Mr Bardhan, who was re-elected as CPI general secretary for the fourth consecutive term.

Mr Faizi, CPI national secretary and editor of party mouthpiece New Age, elaborated that the alliance in the given situation had to be state-specific. ''While entering into a poll alliance with the regional parties, the Communists will continue to work for a programme-based alternative to both the Congress and the BJP.'' CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M K Pandhe said the Left parties would extend cooperation to the UNPA on specific issues. ''Till a general understanding on all national issues is evolved among the potential partners of the third alternative, we will continue to wage joint struggle and agitation on people's issues.'' Besides price rise, he said the other common areas of cooperation could be the opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal and the fight against US imperialism.

''We are trying to evolve more understanding, but there is no general alliance as yet,'' Mr Pandhe added.

Forward Bloc national secretary G Devarajan listed the issues of dalits and tribals as other areas of cooperation. ''We will continue to work jointly inside and outside Parliament,'' he added.

The cooperation of regional parties was paramount for evolving a secular and democratic alternative to both the Congress and the BJP.

UNI KSA-AG RP GC1605

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