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CPI releases manifesto, rules out backing Cong-led govt

CPI general secretary AB Bardhan said the party would improve its position in West Bengal and Kerala

india Updated: Apr 06, 2009 19:08 IST

New Delhi: Indicating that it would not mind Congress supporting a Third Front government from outside, the Communist Party of India (CPI) Saturday said ruled out backing a Congress-led government in the post-poll scenario.
"Why should we refuse if somebody wants to support us but it is absolutely clear that we will not support Congress" government in the post-poll scenario, CPI general secretary AB Bardhan told reporters here.
Maintaining that the Left parties would oppose "neo-liberal" economic policy, strive for an independent foreign policy and BJP’s communal agenda, he said "if Congress has no problems in supporting these policies, let them support then. I stand by this manifesto and its policies."
Releasing the CPI’s election manifesto, Bardhan, however, said all such issues -- "outside support or inside support", would be decided only after the elections.
When asked about his CPI(M) counterpart Prakash Karat indicating that Congress support to a Third Front government was an open option, Bardhan said "I am not saying anything now. All this will be decided after elections."
He parried a question whether Congress was "untouchable" for them saying "untouchability is a very bad word. Please don’t use it. We are fighting against the BJP as also against the Congress."
To a question that there were several contenders for Prime Minister’s post in the Third Front, Bardhan said "this only shows we have more capable people in this country."
On Mayawati becoming the Prime Minister, the veteran communist said both the BSP supremo and her AIADMK counterpart J Jayalalithaa had made it clear that a decision on the matter would only be taken after the elections.
Announcing that CPI would contest 53 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, he said so far 43 names have been announced and the names of candidates from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala would be released shortly.
Exuding confidence that the Left and the CPI would gain strength in the upcoming elections, he said "we will definitely improve in West Bengal and Kerala. We will prove out strength."
Regarding the Congress-Trinamool tie-up in West Bengal, Bardhan said "the so-called Grand Alliance will be very harmful for the Congress."
Referring to the "growing strength" of the Third Front, Bardhan said "we have been receiving letters of support from various parties" and named some like the Awami National Conference and Panthers Party in Jammu and Kashmir and Lok Bhalai Party of Balwant Singh Ramoowalia in Punjab.
"The Congress and the BJP are rattled and nervous at our growing strength," he said.

First Published: Apr 06, 2009 19:06 IST