Kolkata, May 8 : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday said that the Left parties would forge a third front in the run up to the general election slated for 2009 rather than ally with the ruling Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Bhattacharjee said that the Left parties were in dialogue with like-minded political outfits in the country to form a viable third front that would challenge both the Congress and the BJP.
"We are in the midst of a dialogue, we are in the midst of some joint platform but still it is not clear. We are trying to forge a third alternative with some minimum programme," Bhattacharjee said.
Regarding his government's handling of the farmers' unrest over the industrial hub in Nandigram, Bhattacharjee said his government would try to convince the villagers through dialogue rather than use force.
"Therefore you should carefully identify the areas where you can afford to transfer it from agriculture land to other use, I mean industry and urban areas. You have to be very careful and you have to convince the people, it is for them (that) we are converting the land," he said.
"If they don't understand then you cannot just forcefully do it. We have learnt some lessons from Nandigram," Bhattacharjee added.
Nandigram, a cluster of villages in West Bengal, has been the flashpoint of a conflict between mostly poor farmers and the state government since early 2007 over the refusal of the villagers to sell their land for a chemical industry complex.