Left, SP leaders meet ahead of convention against communalism

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New Delhi, Oct 10: Leaders of Left parties, Samajwadi Party and JD(U) met on Thursday to discuss the preparations for a national convention against communalism to be held here later this month, but ruled out forming a front for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

"No Front is being set up. All of us have gathered here to forge a united platform to safeguard the country from the threats from communal forces," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters after the hour-long meeting here.

Apart from him, others who attended included Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), K C Tyagi (JD-U) and Amarjeet Kaur (CPI). The convention in defence of secularism is being held here on October 30.

Replying to questions, Yechury said there has been a "positive response" on the convention from Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik and the AIADMK, but "who will attend the convention will be known later".

Talks were also on with parties from Andhra Pradesh, but given the prevailing situation in the state, it was not clear whether any of them would be able to join, he said.

Asked why was the communal card projected always before the elections, he said, "It is the communal organisations which raise issues like Ram temple every time before elections."

Yechury said there has been a "positive response" on the convention.

"To heighten communal tension is politically and electorally beneficial for these parties. But this way, they endanger the secular democratic fabric and pose a real threat to the integrity of the country."

"This is not in the interests of the nation. If India goes, there will be no political party left. Therefore, it is essential that we join hands to fight this communal menace," the CPI(M) leader, flanked by Yadav and Tyagi, said.

To a question as to why they were not inviting Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, Yechury said, "We take only those who are firm on fighting communalism."

"Mamata Banerjee was a Minister in the cabinet of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then she was with Manmohan Singh. We don't know what her present position is," he said.

PTI

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