CPM leaders to discuss third front at CC meet tomorrow

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New Delhi, May 28 (UNI) A two-day brainstorming session of the Central Committee of CPI(M) begins here tomorrow to find ways and means to build a third alternative, intensify agitation against rising prices and the government move to further hike price of petroleum products.

The meeting will also discuss the impact of Karnataka poll outcome on the national polity, current status of Indo-US nuclear deal and evolve the party stand to be taken in the UPA-Left coordination panel meeting likely to be held on June 11.

Party Polit Bureau members M K Pandhe and Brinda Karat told UNI that it is the first meeting of the 78-member Central Committee being held here after the 19th party Congress in Coimbatore in March-April.

Mr Pandhe said the meeting will also review the party's performance in the Panchayat elections held recently in West Bengal.

The Marxist leader said discussion will be held on how to carry forward the party Congress' decision to set up a non-Congress and non-BJP alternative in the country. Significantly, Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh met CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat here yesterday to discuss the evolving political scenario in the aftermath of the debacle of the Congress in Karnataka.

Expressing concern over the unabated inflation, Mr Pandhe said the meeting will discuss steps to pressurise the government to tackle the price rise.

He said the government should take up the Left's suggestion of reducing excise and customs on crude oil to meet the challenge posed by rise in price of the fuel in international market.

CPI national secretary Shamim Faizi said reduction of 5 per cent excise duty on oil to zero and cut in sales tax and other levies by state governments can bring about improvement in the financial profile of oil marketing companies without burdening consumers with higher fuel prices.

On the next UPA-Left coordination panel's meeting next month, he said it would be a futile exercise if the government failed to provide paraphrased details of the text of the safeguards agreement reached with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

UNI KSA-SAA RP AS1738

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