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CPI for forging ties with like-minded parties

By PRANJAL BHUYAN
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GUWAHATI, March 2 - The Communist Party of India (CPI) wants some sort of understanding among all anti-BJP parties to take on the ruling NDA in Assam during the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls but believes that the attitude of the State unit of the Congress is coming in the way of formation of such a front.

�Our political line is that we want to defeat the BJP. The ruling party is our main enemy. We want to isolate the BJP and that is our first priority in the current scenario. We do not want a situation where the ruling party can scrape through due to division of votes among the anti-BJP forces,� Munin Mahanta, Assam state unit secretary of CPI, told The Assam Tribune.

He said that BJP is already facing problems in Assam and the North East on account of its (now aborted) attempt to bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

�So we want to fight the elections unitedly with all other Left, democratic and secular forces. But unfortunately, the attitude of the Congress in the State is not helping the matter,� Mahanta said. The Congress has already announced its intention to fight the Lok Sabha polls on its own.

Mahanta said that All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge for Assam and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat had held a meeting with the leaders of the Left parties here in January.

�On that occasion, during which I was also present, Rawat had asked State Congress chief Ripun Bora to hold discussions with us from time-to-time. However, nothing of that sort happened. It seems that the Congress leaders here are overconfident. Their attitude is not helpful,� he said.

The CPI leader claimed that the Left parties have some support base in all the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies, and that could be crucial in swinging crucial votes.

Asked if the CPI would refrain from putting up candidates in Assam during the Lok Sabha elections if the Congress makes a formal request, Mahanta said, �How can we agree to such a request? After all, we have to preserve our own identity as well. Congress will have to spare seats for the Left parties.�

He claimed that many grass-root level workers of the Congress in areas falling under the Nagaon Lok Sabha constituency are in favour of a tie-up with the Left and for leaving the seat to the CPI to contest in the coming polls.

The CPI State secretary added that his party is also open for consultations with the AGP.

�We are ready for negotiations with the AGP, provided that the regional party does not renew its ties with the BJP. In fact we will welcome any tie-up between the Congress and the AGP. If that happens, it will lead to certain defeat of the BJP in the elections,� said the CPI veteran.

Mahanta said that CPI on its own is concentrating on the Lok Sabha constituencies of Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Guwahati and Dhubri.

�We are conducting mass movements in these constituencies and also undertaking poll campaign,� he said.

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CPI for forging ties with like-minded parties

GUWAHATI, March 2 - The Communist Party of India (CPI) wants some sort of understanding among all anti-BJP parties to take on the ruling NDA in Assam during the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls but believes that the attitude of the State unit of the Congress is coming in the way of formation of such a front.

�Our political line is that we want to defeat the BJP. The ruling party is our main enemy. We want to isolate the BJP and that is our first priority in the current scenario. We do not want a situation where the ruling party can scrape through due to division of votes among the anti-BJP forces,� Munin Mahanta, Assam state unit secretary of CPI, told The Assam Tribune.

He said that BJP is already facing problems in Assam and the North East on account of its (now aborted) attempt to bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

�So we want to fight the elections unitedly with all other Left, democratic and secular forces. But unfortunately, the attitude of the Congress in the State is not helping the matter,� Mahanta said. The Congress has already announced its intention to fight the Lok Sabha polls on its own.

Mahanta said that All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge for Assam and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat had held a meeting with the leaders of the Left parties here in January.

�On that occasion, during which I was also present, Rawat had asked State Congress chief Ripun Bora to hold discussions with us from time-to-time. However, nothing of that sort happened. It seems that the Congress leaders here are overconfident. Their attitude is not helpful,� he said.

The CPI leader claimed that the Left parties have some support base in all the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies, and that could be crucial in swinging crucial votes.

Asked if the CPI would refrain from putting up candidates in Assam during the Lok Sabha elections if the Congress makes a formal request, Mahanta said, �How can we agree to such a request? After all, we have to preserve our own identity as well. Congress will have to spare seats for the Left parties.�

He claimed that many grass-root level workers of the Congress in areas falling under the Nagaon Lok Sabha constituency are in favour of a tie-up with the Left and for leaving the seat to the CPI to contest in the coming polls.

The CPI State secretary added that his party is also open for consultations with the AGP.

�We are ready for negotiations with the AGP, provided that the regional party does not renew its ties with the BJP. In fact we will welcome any tie-up between the Congress and the AGP. If that happens, it will lead to certain defeat of the BJP in the elections,� said the CPI veteran.

Mahanta said that CPI on its own is concentrating on the Lok Sabha constituencies of Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Guwahati and Dhubri.

�We are conducting mass movements in these constituencies and also undertaking poll campaign,� he said.