The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Silence in CPM over ‘PM’ Sonia

Calcutta, Aug. 17: The CPM is still undecided over backing Sonia Gandhi as a prime ministerial candidate. Neither the politburo nor the central committee of the party has discussed the issue in its recent meetings.

Jyoti Basu had said Sonia’s foreign origin would not stand in the way of her becoming Prime Minister. But CPM state secretary and politburo member Anil Biswas today said the issue had not been discussed at the central committee or politburo meetings.

“It is too early to decide. We shall wait till the results of the Lok Sabha polls and then work out a strategy,” Biswas said when asked to comment on the party’s stand on Sonia as the Prime Minister.

Biswas added that Basu was a senior politburo member and “experienced enough to comment on issues such as Sonia Gandhi’s prime ministership”.

“Moreover, whatever he said about Sonia Gandhi and the Congress was on the basis of our party’s stand taken during the Hyderabad party congress. Leaders like me cannot comment on what Basu said,” Biswas told newsmen. However, he did say that the CPM will “never” forge an alliance with the Congress.

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