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Bardhan: Congress can back Third Front government

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Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan addressing a press conference after releasing the party manifesto in New Delhi on Saturday. Deputy general secretary Sudhakar Reddy (left) and national secretary D. Raja are also seen.
Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan addressing a press conference after releasing the party manifesto in New Delhi on Saturday. Deputy general secretary Sudhakar Reddy (left) and national secretary D. Raja are also seen.

K.V. Prasad

Bardhan targets Congress leader Pranab

Many party leaders in touch with front’s leaders

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India on Saturday made it clear that the Third Front was not averse to taking support from the Congress in the formation of the next government as it strove to usher a non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party formation to power.

“Our policies will be there and if the Congress has no problem in supporting it after the elections, let it do that,” party general secretary A.B. Bardhan told a press conference after releasing the CPI manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections.

The CPI leader mocked at the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party for ridiculing the Third Front. “Those who thought they can ignore the Third Front and kill it by the conspiracy of silence are now being forced to speak. This shows they are fully conscious of the emerging front. They are nervous.”

Mr. Bardhan singled out Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee, stating that he had now started spotting the front on the political horizon. Instead of worrying about the fate of the front, Mr. Mukherjee should well worry about the Congress presence in States such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal where the party has got fewer seats than its regional ally, he suggested.

He said many party leaders were in touch with leaders of the 10 political parties, working for a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative. While the four Left parties would issue a joint appeal to the voters on March 24, all parties in the new formation would issue a joint statement on several issues.

On the issue of Prime Minister, he said a decision would be taken after the elections. Both the Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa had said the issue would be decided after the polls, he said.

Asked about the PDP leaders sharing the platform with the Left, Mr. Bardhan said while he did not think there was any need for an understanding, if some PDP supporters voted for the Left, how could that be prevented.

“PDP communal”

The CPI, he emphasised, was committed to fighting religious fundamentalism and considered the PDP a “communal party.” However, Mr. Bardhan said the CPI would not act like a policeman and start checking who was polluting the dais.

He said while it was “unfortunate” the way the Janata Dal (S) was treated in Kerala, the constituents would abide by whatever was decided by the Left Democratic Front.


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