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Basu hopes broad platform will be formed soon

CALCUTTA, MAY 5. The West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr. Jyoti Basu, today expressed the hope that the broad platform, mooted by him and supported by three former Prime Ministers to fight the BJP, would be formed soon and said that the CPI-M has to take the leadership.

``The responsibility is on us since we (CPI-M) are an organised party. They (Mr. V.P. Singh and Mr. Chandrashekhar) also said that we have to give the leadership,'' Mr. Basu told presspersons today after releasing the ``jail diary'' of Communist leader and former Advocate General of the State, Snehangshu Kanta Acharya at a function here.

Mr. Basu discussed the issue with Mr. Chandrashekhar and Mr. V.P. Singh over dinner on Thursday night. He said he would leave for Delhi shortly to apprise his party leaders of the outcome of the talks.

Stating that the BJP was ``ruining'' the country, he said ``we have to look beyond the third front. There are countless people who are opposed to communalism but have aligned with BJP. They have to be brought back''.

`No headway'

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister, Mr. Chandrashekhar, today said there was no headway in the discussions he and Mr. V.P. Singh had with Mr. Jyoti Basu here on reviving the third front. ``We had a good dinner,'' he said at Calcutta airport.

According to a political leader in West Bengal, close to Mr. Singh, differences had surfaced over accommodating the Congress (I). While Mr. Deve Gowda wanted the Congress (I) out, Mr. Singh, Mr. Chandrashekhar and Mr. Basu felt that without the party such an equation would not be feasible.

BJP, Trinamool accord

The BJP and the Trinamool Congress today reached an understanding regarding sharing of 90 per cent of seats for the coming Calcutta municipal polls.

This was announced here at a joint press conference where senior leaders of both the parties said the ``mahajot,'' for the civic elections has not failed.

The Trinamool Congress leader, Mr. Pankaj Banerjee, said talks on seat-sharing with the Congress (I) was continuing and hoped that the State Congress president, Mr. A.B.A. Ghani Khan Chowdhury, and his followers would join the ``mahajot.''

- PTI, UNI

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