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Left eyes Cong, BJP allies

india Updated: Feb 27, 2009 23:50 IST

The Left parties on Friday intensified their efforts to wean away the allies of both the ruling Congress and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliances in a bid to shape to its fledgling third alternative.

The four Left parties — the CPM, the CPI, the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and the Forward Bloc — decided at a meeting on Friday to come out with a joint appeal to the “secular parties” in a fortnight to join the third alternative.

“The appeal is likely to issue a call to the secular forces in the NDA (National Democratic Alliance), which are perturbed by the BJP’s Hindutva agenda and the parties in the UPA (United Progressive Alliance), which are unhappy with the Congress,” RSP leader T.J. Chandrachudan said.

The Left is already in alliance for the Lok Sabha polls with J. Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, and are looking for allies in more states.

Meanwhile, the largest Left party, the CPI(M), continued its tough talk against the Congress, but appeared shaky about the proposed alliance between the Congress and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in its bastion — West Bengal.

Party general secretary Prakash Karat once again made it clear that his party was not in favour of supporting a Congress-led government again, following the bitter parting of ways on the Indo-US nuclear deal in July last year.

Karat said in an interview to the party’s Malayalam daily, Deshabhimani, “After the elections, we will come to know who is going to be compelled to support whom. 2009 is not going to be 2004.”

CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu, however, did not rule out the possibility of supporting a Congress-led government after the polls. In an informal chat with the media in Kolkata, he preferred to remain non-committal on the issue.

Basu admitted that in case of a Congress-Trinamool alliance, there could be trouble for the Left. “It’ll be tough for us if there is an alliance. We might lose some seats,” the 94 year-old veteran said after a meeting at the party headquarters.