Left hopes for post-poll unity within the group

Several leaders pursuing the non-Congress, non-BJP ‘alternative’ for the Lok Sabha election are expected to have a breakfast session on Monday, at Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda’s residence here.

They intend to evolve both an alternative economic vision and an aggressive strategy to counter communalisation of the polity.

The leaders who are scheduled to participate include Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh, Mr. Gowda, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat and CPI leader A. B. Bardhan.

Many of the leaders contacted by The Hindu remained non-committal about a formal meeting. They maintained that, since the senior leadership of some of the non-Congress, non-BJP parties would be available, consultations could not be ruled out.

Mr. Gowda was expected to reach New Delhi only late on Sunday or early on Monday. The national secretary of the party, Danish Ali, said leaders available may hold a meeting. Mr. Karat said since many of them were already present, they could convene at Mr. Gowda’s residence.

The Left parties are cautious — eager not to repeat the mistakes of the 2009 experiment when the announcement of a pre-poll alliance as an alternative government backfired.

Mr. Karat explained at a huge rally organised by the Left Front in Kolkata on Sunday that “this month, at the end of the Parliament session, there will be a meeting of non-Congress and non-BJP parties.”

The Congress, he said, failed to check communal forces and there was no difference in the Congress and BJP economic policies.

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