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CPI(M) against secular vote split

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leadership is attempting to bring together all the secular forces in Bihar to avoid a split in the secular vote. Unless this was done, it would difficult to combat the communal forces, Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau member said here on Saturday.

The party would also be demanding a fresh inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Bofors case. Mr. Yechury said the agency should change the way it functioned if corruption in high places were to be investigated.On Bihar, Mr. Yechury, along with the former West Bengal Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu, affirmed the CPI(M)'s intentions to get together non-communal parties and minimise a division in secular votes when Bihar goes to the polls.The two leaders were speaking on the sidelines of the three-day CPI(M)'s Central Committee meeting.

Experience

"We are talking to the Congress, the Lok Jan Shakti Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal," said Mr. Basu. "We do not want a split in the secular vote and are trying to avoid this [from happening again]." he added.

Mr. Yechury said experience had taught the party that "unless we can minimise a division in secular votes we will not be able to fight the communal forces." The party would also be speaking to theCommunist Party of India leadership on the issue.

As for the Bofors case, Mr. Yechury said the party wanted a more thorough inquiry into the matter. The Delhi High Court quashed charges against the three Hinduja brothers in the gun deal due to lack of tangible evidence. The CBI had failed to submit such evidence, he said.

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