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CPI(M) identifies issues for UPA

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, SEPT. 17. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) today stressed that the United Progressive Alliance Government needs to challenge the fresh attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party to bring back "communal agenda through the backdoor.''

At its daylong meeting of the Polit Bureau, the party opined that the BJP was trying to disrupt communal harmony by taking out the Tiranga Yatra (Tricolour journey), raking up the V.D. Savarkar issue. Although of the view that the BJP was building these issues with an eye on Assembly elections to Maharashtra, the CPI(M) said there had not been much response, Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat told The Hindu.

Restoring peace

Mr. Karat said the BJP was trying to bring back its communal agenda through the backdoor and the Manmohan Singh Government should meet the challenge politically.

Besides the need to fight communalism, the party said the Government should take steps to restore peace and normality in Manipur and other northeast States and see that the talks with various groups in Jammu and Kashmir gathered pace.

Earlier, another Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said the party wanted the Government not to make policy announcements without consulting the Left parties since these parties would not like to disagree publicly with such unilateral announcements.

As regards Maharashtra, the Polit Bureau asked the State committee to finalise the number of seats the party should contest. The party has given a list of 18 seats it wants to contest in the State even as the talks for seat-adjustment was going on with the Congress.

Seat adjustments

The Maharasthra Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, today visited the CPI(M) headquarters here apparently to discuss the seat adjustments. Mr. Shinde is also keen since the CPI(M) plans to contest Solapur City North, a seat that the Chief Minister was considering for himself.

The CPI(M) candidate, Narsaiyya Adam, had won the seat in 1995 and in the last elections he finished second.

The veteran Marxist leader, Jyoti Basu, the party general secretary, Harkishan Singh Surjeet, and Mr. Yechury will attend the lunch being hosted by Mr. Manmohan Singh tomorrow. It will also been attended by the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi.

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