Left unlikely to join Cong-led Govt

Updated on May 16, 2004 09:03 PM IST

The Left parties will hold a joint meeting on Monday to finalise their stand on participation in the Govt.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

The Left parties on Sunday deferred a decision on their participation in the new Congress-led government at the Centre till Monday amidst strong indications that the parties will not join it, but only extend support from outside.

CPI (M), CPI and two other Left parties RSP and Forward Bloc are understood to have already given their letter of support to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The four communist parties would hold a joint meeting in New Delhi on Monday to finalise their stand on participation as well as the Common Minimum Programme.

The parties individually held their meetings throughout the day on Sunday, but failed to arrive at a consensus on the issue of participation in the government with an overwhelming opinion against joining.

This follows significant differences in the economic policies of the Left and the leader of the coalition -- Congress that could prove detrimental to the Left parties in case they joined the government, sources said.

As many as 70 members were present at the party Central Committee meeting.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of Kerala leaders VS Achutanandan, P Vijayan and MA Baby opposing CPI (M) joining the Congress-led government and Jyoti Basu, Surjeet and Yechuri favouring it, sources said.

None of the participants were willing to speak on the issue which is likely to be debated even on Monday.

They said nearly half the participants who spoke during the pre-lunch session opposed CPI(M)'s participation in the government although veteran leader Somnath Chaterjee said the party had its own way of arriving at a decision after hearing all the opinions.

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