'CPM in talks with Cong allies to build third front'

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Kolkata, Feb 12: Veteran Marxist Jyoti Basu today said the CPI(M) was in talks with a few allies of the Congress to build up a third alternative force in the country.

''Efforts are on to see whether we can form a third alternative force before the next elections. Prakash(Karat) is in talks with the associate parties of the Congress,'' he told reporters after attending the CPI(M) state committee meeting. Mr Basu said which parties would comprise the proposed third front or what would be the modalities for such an alliance, would be worked out later.

He, however, said as things stood till now, nothing in this direction had matured. ''So far there has been no solution...let us see,'' he said.

Mr Basu's statement came a day after party's General Secretary Prakash Karat said at Kottayam yesterday that the third front would be founded on the three principles of consistent opposition to communalism, agreement on a common minimum programme and a firm commitment to an independent foreign policy and pro-people economic policies.

He said the CPI(M) was not in favour of the proposed front to be a mere electoral alliance, rather it should work together and arrive at an understanding on the policies and programmes.


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