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Left to play crucial role in government formation: CPI

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, APRIL 21. "The Left parties will emerge as a strong group in the Lok Sabha after the election and will play a crucial role in the formation of the next government at the Centre," the national secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), D.Raja, has said.

Describing the claim made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that it would capture more than 300 seats in the election as nothing but "a hype" deliberately created by the BJP, Mr. Raja said that days of single-party rule at the Centre had gone and it was an era of coalition governments. The BJP, he said, had become panicky, especially after the recent predictions which had given less than the majority for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The mid-summer Lok Sabha election would turn out to be a mid-summer nightmare for the BJP, he said.

Addressing a Meet the Press programme organised by the Madras Reporters' Guild here today, the CPI leader said the people did not want the NDA-type coalition any more and that they were in search of an alternative coalition. If at all Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, it was more by default than by his merit. He was confident that the people would succeed in finding a Left-oriented secular alternative coalition soon.

Answering a question, Mr. Raja said the Left parties would make the Congress change its basic approach towards economic reforms. He felt that India should take the initiative "to resist the onslaught" of the IMF and the World Bank and protect its economic sovereignty.

Coming down heavily on the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for "pursuing an extreme Hindutva policy," Mr. Raja said the people were frustrated by the AIADMK Government. Democracy in Tamil Nadu had become a question mark as thousands of government employees were victimised, thousands of contract workers thrown out of employment and media personnel terrorised. He was confident that the AIADMK-BJP front would face the worst defeat in the election.

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