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Karat hints of third front

Cuttack, Dec. 17: CPM leader and general-secretary Prakash Karat today said his party was working towards building a third frontin the nation.

“We extend our support to the UPA government to check communal forces such as the BJP from dividing the nation. But, let me make it clear that we will not give up of our basic agenda or compromise on issues such as Indo-US civilian nuclear co-operation agreement that threat our sovereignty,” Karat said, while addressing an open convention of the CPM.

Though, extending party support, Karat took a tough stand against the UPA’s economic and foreign policies and raised the issue of a third alternative frequently. Karat added that present exigencies pointed towards exploring the options of a Third Front, as the Manmohan Singh-government had failed in implementing a common minimum programme and pursuing policies started by the BJP-led NDA.

He, however, made it clear that the party has no plans to pull the plug on the UPA now. He added that for a “formidable third front” non-Congress and non-BJP parties need to come together, but not for mere electoral alliance.

“Before the alliance, there should be a common policy platform or a framework under which the constituent parties would function,” he said.

The Orissa government’s decision to allow Posco to use the Mahanadi River water, through Taladanda Irrigation Canal, for its proposed steel plant near Paradip came under heavy flak at the conference that ended today. The party passed a resolution demanding the government withdraw water assurances, as it would affect state’s irrigation.

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