The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) will put up 85 candidates in nine states in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, party general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharyya said on Monday.

The party will contest seats in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Punjab, Jharkhand and in Puducherry, Mr. Bhattacharyya said at a press conference.

He was accompanied by lone party MLA, Vinod Singh.

Mr. Bhattacharyya expressed regret that CPI (ML)’s endeavour to forge an alliance with Left parties had not materialised. But he cautioned the Left parties about joining hands with JD (U).

The move by the Left parties, including CPI and CPI (M), to forge an alliance with JD (U) is “not good” as it would only weaken them, Mr. Bhattacharyya claimed while favouring the proposed Third Front.

“I would favour a Third Front as an alternative force comprising non-Congress, non-BJP parties,” he said.

Demanding a mechanism for fixing prices, the CPI (ML) leader said that the inflation and prevailing corruption was at the root of all the problems plaguing the country.

Mr. Bhattacharyya, who had hailed the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, has supported its leader Arvind Kejriwal’s approach on the gas price issue saying it was in the country’s interest.

CPI (ML) strongly opposes privatisation of any natural resource as these belong to the people of the country, he asserted.

The party is also opposed to the acquisition of agricultural land for industrial purposes and recruitment on contractual basis or against honorariums, he said.

Referring to the recent killing of AJSU party leader Tileshwar Sahu in Barhi, Hazaribagh, Mr. Bhattacharyya said that the killing was a sequel to a political conspiracy and should be probed by CBI.