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Left may abstain to help Congress form Govt

Left may abstain to help Congress form Govt

Author: PNS
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: May 13, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/175865/Left-may-abstain-to-help-Congress-form-Govt.html

As Third Front totters, Marxists seek exit route

The Left is keeping its options close to its chest on the post- poll scenario. With rift in the Left on supporting a Congress-led Government, party leaders are trying to find a middle path that would save them from the embarrassment of backing a UPA-type formation and at the same time check the BJP from capturing power at the Centre.

According to senior leaders of the CPI(M) and CPI, one of the options before the Left was to abstain from voting if the Congress emerged the single largest party and was invited to form a Government. This would indirectly help the Congress without compromising the Left's stand.

Senior Left leaders now fear the collapse of the Third Front after the TRS ditched the alliance and switched over to the NDA camp. This would make it impossible to make any serious effort to prop-up a non-BJP, non-Congress Government, and limit the Left's options.

It is significant that CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat's has stuck to his position of not extending support to the Congress, though he has said the party will officially take its stand after the counting of votes. Echoing Karat's view, CPI general secretary AB Bardhan on Tuesday said there was a chance of backing the Congress. On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Politburo member Sitaram Yechury have been sending mixed signals. Party sources said that airing pro-Congress view was also part of a strategy to create confusion among the Trinamool and Congress in West Bengal.

The Left coordination committee, the forum of four general secretaries of Left bloc, is expected to be convened on May 16 afternoon to finalise the Left's stand on Government formation. The CPI(M) Politburo meeting is scheduled on May 18, followed by the central committee meeting, expected to be held on May 22 and May 23.

The CPI's national executive is scheduled on May 19, followed by the national council meeting to chalk out the post-poll strategy. The other two Left parties - RSP and Forward Bloc - also convening meetings of their decision-making bodies on these days.

The internal assessment of the Left parties is that their group would get between 35 and 42 seats.

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