The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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PDS pact with Congress

Calcutta, Aug. 10: The Party for Democratic Socialism, formed by a breakaway faction of the CPM, today tied up with the Congress to launch a joint movement against the communists in the state and the BJP at the Centre.

The CPM has already said it would extend support to Congress nominees in the five states where Assembly elections are due this year.

The PDS had not won a single seat in the last Assembly elections. In the presence of former state Congress chief Somen Mitra, PDS chief Saifuddin Chowdhury said today the two parties had come together “to fight the CPM’s atrocities in Bengal and the BJP’s communal politics at the Centre”.

“We are ready to join forces with like-minded secular parties to counter the reign of terror unleashed by the CPM here on innocent people,” said Chowdhury, a former CPM member of Parliament from Katwa.

The PDS will organise a joint convention with the Congress on August 23 to “strengthen relations”. Mitra said it will help fight the Marxists “more effectively”.

CPM state secretary Anil Biswas said: “We don’t even consider the PDS a political party and the Congress is trying to survive with its support.”

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