‘We will discuss with parties who are not with the Congress, BJP’

Left parties aim to form an alternative to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the next Lok Sabha elections, Communist Party of India leader A.B. Bardhan said at a press conference here on Sunday.

“We have decided our tactics to strengthen Left unity and democratic groups who are willing to fight the United Progressive Alliance and the National Democratic Alliance based on a common programme,” he said.

The composition of a new alternative would depend on the number of seats won by the AIADMK, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and H.D. Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular).

After the CPI’s three-day executive meeting that ended on Sunday, the party decided to contest 12 or 13 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. “We will declare the seats after consultations with our Left partners so that they don’t clash. Our attempt will be to defeat the UPA and NDA,” Mr. Bardhan said.

The party also decided to launch a campaign to raise the issues of the people in Bihar. It will stage a rally in Patna on October 25 for the implementation of the D. Bandyopadhyay Committee recommendations on land reforms, against privatisation of education, issue of teachers’ appointments, food security, issues related to drought and floods, and for guarding the democratic rights of protests.

In the light of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s affidavit in the Supreme Court on the coal scam, Mr. Bardhan said, it “should be independent and autonomous and not be a tool in the hands of the Congress.” The CPI would not demand the PM’s resignation. “The resignation is not an issue, the issue is CBI’s independence,” he said.

Asked about the Chinese incursion, Mr. Bardhan said, “It is not a big issue. It should be resolved through negotiations.”

He criticised the frenzy of speculation around whether Narendra Modi would be declared a prime ministerial candidate. “His name is being cited again and again as if the BJP is going to win. This is useless political action. It is not that if the candidate is declared the party will win,” he said.