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Communists come closer for UP, Punjab polls

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, July 5: With a view to provide a viable non- Congress, non-BJP alternative at the Centre, the two leading communist parties have joined hands to contest assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab together.

An indication to this effect was given in separate interviews to UNI by the leaders of the CPI and CPI(M) today. The leaders said the move was necessiated to provide a broad-based political platform to all the like-minded secular and democratic forces.

''A beginning has to be made in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab,'' said CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan.

While complimenting DMK chief M Karunanidhi's hard hitting missive to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to withdraw the decision to offload ten per cent equity in Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), the Left leaders asserted that the Congress-led coalition would have to abandon its decision.

On joining hands for the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab polls to be held next year, Mr Bardhan said, ''The political situation in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab correlates between different parties and their actual deeds and performance are quite complex.'' He said therefore it was essential for the Left parties to sit together and discuss their electoral tactics. ''For this reason, the old concepts which served the people earlier, would have to be reconsidered. That requires objective analysis and mutual discussions.'' The two parties had contested the last assembly elections in Punjab together. The CPI leader said they would make all out efforts to make this possible this time again.

Elaborating on the Punjab political scenario, CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi said the only alternative available to the people was the Akali Dal-BJP combine. But the Left parties are committed not to allow this combination to come back to power in the state, he added.

CPI (M) deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Mohammad Salim, said since both the Communist parties are not strong in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, going together in the polls is the ''most desirable step'' in the given economic and political situation. The move will create confidence among our followers and sympathisers,'' Mr Salim said.

Stating that on most of the economic, political and foreign policy matters at the Centre and local issues at the state level the two parties hold the same viewpoint, the CPI (M) leader said all-out efforts would have to be made to contest the elections together.

Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devarajan said the Left unity should not be confined to Uttar Pradesh and Punjab alone. ''It must be extended to all over the country as people are looking towards a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative,'' he said.

On Mr Karunanidhi's strong statement, he said it was a ''welcome sign'' that the allies in the UPA were now coming out in the open against the Centre's disinvestment policy, which was only creating a ''bad economy''.


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