The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tieup woes hound Left

New Delhi, Oct. 25: The moves of Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to forge a new third front has worried the CPM and the CPI as it is likely to increase their isolation in national politics.

Pawar and Mulayam Singh want to keep the Congress out of power, unlike the Left whose aim is to stall the BJP, and are inclined to forge the new front with or without the Left’s approval.

Senior CPM and CPI leaders have expressed apprehensions over moves made by the Pawar-Mulayam camp, particularly over a possibility that a new third front might include Union defence minister and Samata Party leader George Fernandes.

However, the Left leadership still does not want to close its options of supporting such an anti-BJP, anti-Congress front. Their concern is about the stand of the front on the BJP, which the Left calls its main enemy. “We know they are opposed to the Congress, but will they support the BJP'” asks CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan.

The Left’s woes are compounded by a divergence of views about its relations with the Congress.

Though the central CPM leadership says the Congress is a lesser evil, many in the party from Bengal and Kerala do not want to support a Congress-led government at the Centre.

In Kerala, where the Congress is the Left’s main adversary, CPM and CPI cadre want to topple the A.K. Antony regime and are reportedly supporting dissident Congress leader K. Karunakaran.

The Left was pushed into political isolation after the downfall of the United Front government and the collapse of the People’s Front following largescale defection of its former allies to the NDA. They are now pinning all their hopes on Mulayam Singh to keep the BJP out.

However, Mulayam Singh is moving further away from the CPM.

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