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Left parties may not join Sonia-led govt

May 17, 2004 09:39 IST
Last Updated: May 17, 2004 10:51 IST

The Left parties who have over 60 MPs in the Lok Sabha are unlikely to join the coalition government to be headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi though a final decision is expected only by Monday evening.

These parties, which have over the past two days discussed the issue, will announce their decision later in the day, sources in the Left Front said on Monday.

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Despite invitation from Gandhi to join her government, Left parties are of the strong view that participating in the government would straight away concede the opposition space to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The sources said some of the leaders and constituents felt inclined to join the government to give it stability but the final view was taken to maintain unity in the Left.

It was also felt that some of the decisions to be taken by the new government may not be to the liking of Left Front and so staying out of the govt could give it that much freedom to criticise them.

Meanwhile, the central committee of Communist Party of India-Marxist met again on Monday to take a final decision on the issue.

Consensus on joining the Sonia Gandhi-led coalition government had eluded the central committee meeting on Sunday with sharp divisions on the issue.

Among those attending the meeting are party general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet, veteran Communist leader Jyoti Basu, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, senior party leader Somnath Chatterjee, politburo members Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat, S Ramachandran Pillai, P Vijayan, V S Achutanandan and Centre for Indian Trade Unions leader M K Pandey.

A strong section of the party led by hardline leaders of the Kerala unit are of the view that joining a Congress-led government at the Centre would prove detrimental to its interests, particularly in states like Kerala and West Bengal.

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