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Talks on for third front: Jyoti Basu

Special Correspondent

Parties to be included in the national-level front will be decided later, he says

Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

MUSING ON ALTERNATIVES: Veteran CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at the party’s State committee meeting in Kolkata on Tuesday. —

KOLKATA: The leadership of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is holding talks with partners of the Congress in the United Progressive Alliance with a view to forging a third alternative at the national level, veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu said here on Tuesday.

“Prakash Karat and other leaders are looking into it and efforts are on to see whether or not we can set up a third front; the elections [Lok Sabha] are approaching,” Mr. Basu said emerging from a meeting of the CPI(M)’s State Committee. He, however, added: “But at present, no solution has been reached.”

On the composition of the proposed third front, he said: It “will be decided later.”

His remarks came a day after Mr. Karat reiterated his party’s intention to forge a third alternative while inaugurating the 19th State Conference of the CPI(M) in Kottayam, Kerala.

Mr. Karat had said the party did not want the proposed front to be a mere electoral alliance and that it would be founded on the principles of consistent opposition to communalism, agreement on a common minimum programme and a firm commitment to an independent foreign policy and pro-people economic policies.

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