The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Politburo rules out Cong pact, not support

Calcutta, Nov. 13: The CPM will try to improve its tally in the five states headed to elections without seeking Congress support, a draft resolution at the party’s politburo said today.

It was decided on Day I of the the three-day politburo and central committee meetings that began today that CPM units in the five states should field candidates on their own.

Presenting the draft, general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet said the CPM need not contest many seats in the Assembly polls. “We want to win most of the seats which we will contest,” he is learnt to have said.

Instead of seeking support from the Congress — the line favoured by Surjeet and former chief minister Jyoti Basu — the CPM will tie-up with the CPI and “other Left and democratic parties”. However, the party acknowledged the importance of poll pacts and that it could not fight the BJP on its own.

“We will urge the people in these states to vote for our party and other Left forces. Since our presence in these states is hardly felt, we have to ask the electorate to support Congress in areas where we have no candidates to defeat the BJP,” the draft says.

The politburo reckons that Andhra Pradesh may hold mid-term polls, with the CPM central leadership in favour of fighting elections independently. “But our state leadership in Andhra Pradesh has the liberty to take a decision on this,” Surjeet said.

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