The crucial politburo meeting of the CPI-M began in Kolkata on Friday in the backdrop of the ongoing tussle between the UPA government and the Left parties over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
The meeting was attended by CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat, party veteran Jyoti Basu, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, besides CPI (M) leaders R Umanath, K Vardarajan, B V Raghavulu, S R Pillai, Biman Bose, M K Pandhe and Brinda Karat.
Another politburo member Sitaram Yechury was expected to join the meeting later in the day.
The 94-year-old Basu was likely to play an important role in formulating the party policy vis-a-vis the deal considering his stature and his pragmatic politics.
While Karat and other hardliners in the party were taking a tough stance, Bengal Marxists like Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee were reportedly advocating a moderate line on the issue as they do not want the crisis to be precipitated at the moment.
During the stand-off over the nuclear deal, Basu had warned that in the event of collapse of the central government, the BJP would stage a come back.
Both Basu and Bhattacharjee had said that they were not against nuclear energy but agreed that the operationalising the deal would make India's foreign policy subservient to USA.
The Politburo meeting will be followed by three-day Central Committee meeting from Saturday.