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Left to extend outside support

May 17, 2004 12:48 IST
Last Updated: May 17, 2004 16:04 IST

The Left parties, with over 60 members in the new Lok Sabha, on Monday decided to lend outside support to a Congress-led government. "We have decided not to join the government," senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Somnath Chatterjee said after the party's central committee meeting, where members expressed conflicting views but took a "collective decision".
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Those who participated in the two-hour meeting included party general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet, senior leaders Jyoti Basu, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, V S Achutanandan and M A Baby.

The CPI, meanwhile, said it would join the government only if all the Left parties participated.

"The CPI will not take any unilateral decision on joining the government. The whole Left will either participate together or keep out together," party leader A B Bardhan said after the party's national executive meeting to take a final decision on the issue.

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