The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Modi makes it to politburo

Calcutta, Jan. 2: The CPM politburo will meet in Calcutta on Saturday with an agenda that will be dominated by the rise of Narendra Modi in Gujarat and its impact on national politics.

CPM officials today underlined the importance of the politburo meeting, saying the Left and secular forces would be faced with a stiffer challenge from the BJP-led government at the Centre, which, according to the CPM, would make full use of the Gujarat victory to buttress its national position.

The CPM plans to counter the growth of the BJP and its allies by uniting all secular and democratic forces under one umbrella. Jyoti Basu said the party would continue exploring ways to strengthen the Left and democratic forces at the national level.

“The third front does not exist at all. But we have to think about it and initiate serious measures towards this end by uniting all secular forces. After the Gujarat elections, this is very important for us. I think its time we seriously tried to counter the rise of the communal forces represented by the BJP and its allies,” Basu said.

The politburo is expected to map a strategy on how to take on the BJP at the national level.

The CPI has already proposed a march across the country to counter a rath yatra by deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. The CPM, sources said, might consider a similar programme. The CPM and the CPI have a joint consultative committee at the national level, which is expected to take up the issue of a “joint movement” against the BJP.

The politburo meet will be followed by the two-day state committee meeting of the party from Sunday. CPM sources said the ensuing panchayat elections and the party organisation were two key issues to be taken up by the state committee for discussions.

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