CPM terms Delhi meeting of Opposition leaders a "show-off"

By  IANS | Updated:  Feb 15, 2019, 12:48 PM

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Dubbing Wednesday's meeting of major anti-BJP parties in Delhi as a "show-off", West Bengal Left Front chairman and CPI-M politburo member Biman Bose on Thursday said there was neither any scope for an all-India pre-poll pact, nor could there be a common minimum programme (CMP) before the Lok Sabha elections.
A number of political parties, including the Congress, got together in Delhi and decided to have a pre-poll pact and a CMP to defeat the BJP-led NDA in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
Dismissing the Delhi discussions in which the Left Front's bete noire and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee played a prominent part, Bose called it a mere extension of the inter-party coordination done on the floor of the House when Parliament is in session.
"There will be no pre-poll understanding. It is just a 'show-off'. You know, at times one has to show off. Never in the past has there been a pre-poll CMP. It is not possible," Bose said.
Pointing out that Wednesday was the last day of the budget session, Bose said: "Had Parliament session been over two days back, yesterday's programme would not have taken place."
On Banerjee's announcement that the leaders would meet again "on February 26, 27 or 28", Bose said: "Let them meet, then we will react."
The Opposition parties' meeting was held at the residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar following their "remove dictatorship, save democracy" joint protest in the national capital.
Apart from Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Banerjee, Telugu Desam Party leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah were present at the meeting.
The senior CPI-M leader said his party's electoral tactical line was to maximise the anti-BJP votes nationally and maximise the anti-Trinamool and anti-BJP votes in West Bengal.
"Our slogan is 'BJP harao, desh bachao; Trinamool harao, Bangal bachao' (Defeat the BJP and save the country; defeat the Trinamool and save Bengal)," he said.
Asked about the progress in the party's likely tie-up with the Congress in the state for the general elections, Bose said: "Discussions are on among the Left Front partners. Once they are over, we will be able to identify the seats where we have a fighting chance, and also identify seats where we stand the risk of finishing a poor third or a poor fourth."
Bose also said 17 Left parties in the state have started a nine-day campaign from February 12 demanding those involved in the ponzi scams be arrested and put in jail.
"As part of the campaign, we are holding small processions, meetings, street corner gatherings and submitting deputations to the district magistrates and the sub-divisional officers. In Kolkata, we will take out a rally on February 16 from the base of Lenin's statue," Bose said.

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