Top CPI leaders on Saturday discussed the fallout of the recent assembly and bye-election results, including those in West Bengal and Kerala where the Left lost, and planned agitational programmes on the problems of price rise, job losses and other issues.

The CPI National Executive began a two-day meeting by discussing reports from its units in states which went to polls, party sources said.

While reviewing the outcome of the Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh, the CPI leadership also debated the rise of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navanirman Sena, which has “eaten into the vote bank” of both the Congress-NCP and the Shiv Sena, they said.

The bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh also came up for review, during which the gains of BSP were noted against the backdrop of speculation that Mayawati’s party would not be in a position to win as many number of seats as it did.

The leaders also reviewed the anti-price rise campaign being carried out in different parts of the country by the four Left parties and some others, they said, adding that the programme for a joint trade union call for a nationwide stir would also be chalked out.

“The reality is that price rise is an integral part of the policies of economic neo-liberalism. Despite repeated demands by the Left parties, the government is not ready to ban futures trading in essential commodities and universalise the public distribution system,” the CPI sources said.

They also pointed out that farmers were not getting proper price for their produce as was being witnessed in the context of problems faced by the sugarcane growers.

The forthcoming 11th International Conference of Communist and Workers Parties here from November 20-22 also came up for discussion, as the CPI is the co-host along with the CPI(M).

The CPI leadership also discussed the growing Maoist violence in various parts of the country including in West Bengal. The handling of the issue by the Left Front state government, in which it is a partner, also came up for discussion.

The CPI and the CPI(M) have already voiced strong opposition to any proposal to use armed forces in the ongoing anti-Maoist operations.

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