Left Front gives nod to alliance discussion with Congress

Left Front gives nod to alliance discussion with Congress

CPI(M)-led Left Front in West Bengal today formally agreed to discuss the issue of alliance with Congress in the coming assembly election if it is approached.

"Today in the Left Front meeting of 11 Left parties, we decided that if Congress wants to discuss (the issue of alliance) then we are ready to discuss the matter with them. There is no harm in discussing with Congress. But the Congress has to call us for the discussion. We are yet to receive any letter asking for discussion from Congress," Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said.

Bose, who is also CPI(M) Politburo member, however, ducked the question whether Left Front would approach Congress if it declines to take the first step. The major constituents of the Left Front are CPI(M), CPI, RSP and AIFB besides smaller Left parties. The nod by Left Front to hold discussion with Congress comes just a day before the CPI(M) state committee meet which will take a call on electoral tactics, including the alliance with Congress.

The final decision on the issue of alliance will be taken by the party's central committee. Asked what prompted LF to agree to discussions with Congress, Bose cited examples from World War II and said "When democracy is in peril, the democratic rights of the masses are curbed. We want to restore democracy. We are ready to discuss with those who want to restore democracy and  a discussion with us."

He said the decision of alliance for the Congress can be taken only by the party's high command and not the state leaders. The alliance issue gained momentum in the last two months after several senior CPI(M) leaders sent feelers to Congress for a tie-up to oust ruling Trinamool Congress from Bengal.  Former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra had called upon Congress to join hands with the Left Front.

Congress leaders from West Bengal had unanimously rejected any alliance with TMC but remained divided on a tie-up with the Left during consultations with party Vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

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