NATIONAL

Radical Left parties set to merge

KOLKATA, JUNE 28. A movement for the merger of splintered radical Left parties into a unified CPIML is set to make a major breakthrough next month. Led by Kanu Sanyal, who has merged a few local splinter groups, the new CPIML is all set to strike a merger deal with the CPI (M-L) Red Flag in July. Having a strong presence in Kerala, the Red Flag has considerable presence in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.

The merger will help the CPIML make its presence felt nationally, especially in electoral politics. Stating that the negotiation has reached the final stages and a breakthrough is expected in July, a CPIML central committee member told The Hindu that during the last election, the Red Flag could corner 35,000-45,000 votes in a number of constituencies across the country. "Given our organisational strength, this is definitely an encouraging tally.''

Formed by merging three groups — the CPIML (Unity Initiative), the CPI Union M-L and the Communist Organisation of India Marxist (COIM) — the CPIML is also in an advanced stage of dialogue for merger of the West Bengal based splinter group, the Centre for Communist Revolution (CCR).

Discussions are also on for a possible merger of the PCC-CPIML of Santosh Rana.

Dialogues for a merger with the CPIML-Liberation, which secured a seat from Assam in the 1999 general elections, however, failed to make any breakthrough.

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