CPM asked to join coalition govt

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi
May 15, 2004 11:01 PM IST

CPP leader Sonia Gandhi met former WB chief minister Jyoti Basu and invited the CPI(M) to join her new coalition govt.

As part of efforts to cobble a broader coalition, newly elected Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi on Saturday met senior CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu and invited the party to join the new coalition government.

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"The idea is to have a coalition government", she told reporters after a 20-minute one-to-one meeting with Basu.

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Asked if she had invited CPI(M) to join the government, she said "of course".

Gandhi parried a question when asked about CPI(M)'s reaction to her invitation.

She had driven to Banga Bhavan straight from Parliament House after her unanimous election as CPP leader.

CPI(M) sources said Gandhi had sought the meeting with Basu and it was a one-to-one affair.

Political Secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel had accompanied Gandhi to Banga Bhawan but did not join the meeting, they said.

Basu was not available for comment.

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