Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), on Saturday expressed hope that the party would soon reach a concrete understanding with major regional parties for presenting a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative at the Centre for the Lok Sabha poll.

At a press conference here, Mr. Karat said the CPI(M) was in consultation with the Samajwadi Party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Biju Janata Dal, the Janata Dal (Secular) and other like-minded parties. To begin with, those parties would announce their decision to work in cooperation with one another and adopt a joint strategy in the Parliament session starting on February 5.

He said the party had discussed the approach and line to be pursued in the Lok Sabha elections, and a decision had been taken to field its candidates in 35 constituencies in eight States where it did not have partners. A decision with regard to West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh was yet to be taken.

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