Left finds poll schedule longer

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New Delhi, Oct 14 (UNI) Left parties are to join hands with the secular parties to mark their presence in the poll-bound five states barring Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and evolve an understanding to defeat the Congress and the BJP candidates.

In their reaction to the poll schedule announced by the Election Commission here today for Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Delhi, they said the EC should continue to assess the situation in J and K.

The poll schedule begining November 14 in Chhattisgarh concludes on December 4 in Rajasthan.

CPI leaders, S Sudhakar Reddy and Shamim Faizi, said in its own wisdom, the EC has announced a long schedule for five states. It would have been better if polls were clubbed and completed within a shorter span.

On the EC decision not to announce the polls for J and K along with these states, the CPI leaders said the EC should continue to assess the situation in J and K and finalise the poll schedule as and when it is satisfied that the polls can be held in free and fair manner.

"The polls should ensure maximum participation and should not look like a farce only," they added.

The Left has already announced that it would go to the polls in these states with an understanding among themselves as well as with other secular parties barring the Congress, said Mr Reddy, Party Deputy General Secretary and Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha.

"In these states excepting Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, the Left has not much at stake. Our goal will be to earn reprsentation there.

At present while the CPI(M) has only one MLA in Rajasthan, in Chhattisgarh we have been contesting elections," added Mr Faizi, party National Secretary and editor, party mouthpiece New Age.

CPI(M) Floor leader in the Lok Sabha Basudeb Acharia said the poll schedule indicated that the Manmohan Singh government could go in for Lok Sabha elections in the middle of February next year.

Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devrajan, on the other hand wondered why the EC had not announced the polls for J and K, asking if these were not due? Contrary to Mr Acharia's view on the possibility of the Lok Sabha polls in February next year, the Forward Bloc leader said the government, in the changed political scenario might opt to hold polls in J and K and Andhra Pradesh along with the Parliament polls on schedule in April next year.

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