The Telegraph
Friday , January 31 , 2014
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Karat eyes tie-up with BJD

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 30: CPM general secretary Prakash Karat today said his party was trying to forge a pre-poll alliance with the BJD in the state.

Karat said the CPM and other like-minded parties would like to provide a non-Congress and non-BJP platform to the country.

The party was already in talks with various regional parties including the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, JD(S) in Karnataka, JD(U) in Bihar and BJD in Odisha.

“After the elections, we will be able to provide a concrete alternative platform,” he said.

Karat told journalists that he had met chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday and held discussions on the national political scenario.

“Our party is trying to have an electoral understanding with the non-BJP and non-Congress secular parties. So we, hope to have an understanding with the BJD in Odisha.”

At the same time, he made it clear that though the party wanted to have an alliance with the BJD, no formal discussion has been made in this regard. “During my meeting with Naveen, I broadly discussed about how to face the forthcoming session of Parliament on national issues together.”

The CPM leader, however, was soft on the issue of illegal mining in the state. Asked about his opinion on the mining scam in which the state government was involved, Karat attributed it to flaws in the policies of the Centre.

“Let the Justice M.B. Shah Commission’s report become public, we will make our stand clear. Illegal mining is happening all over the country, be it Goa, Jharkhand, Karnataka and other parts of the country,” said Karat.

Though the reporters wanted a specific comment from him about the Odisha mining scam, Karat preferred not to say anything.

Stating that he was not defending the state government, Karat said: “Let the report come out and we will take a strong stand on this issue. However, our basic purpose is to defeat the Congress and the BJP in the coming elections as the policies of the two parties are harmful for the country.”

On being asked if Naveen could be projected as the Third Front’s prime ministerial candidate, Karat said: “We are not talking of the Third front. We are talking of creating a non-BJP and non-Congress platform. Let the elections be held — why do you want to jump the gun?”

Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, who was here yesterday, had also talked about the creation of a united platform of non-Congress and non-BJP parties.

Naveen has also been saying that the people had lost faith in the national parties (the Congress and the BJP) and the regional players were going to play a dominant role.

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