CPI for broader alliance in Bihar to defeat BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls

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PATNA: The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Saturday said it favoured a broader alliance of Left parties and other secular forces like the Congress and the RJD in Bihar to ensure the BJP’s defeat in 2019 general election.

The party intends to be a part of such an alliance and has formed a committee to hold talks with like-minded, secular and democratic parties for the purpose, CPI Bihar secretary Satya Narayan Singh told reporters.

“We, the Left parties, have finalised our electoral alliance in Bihar (for 2019 Lok Sabha polls). There is no dispute or problem in Left unity,” he said after the conclusion of a three-day CPI state council meeting, which was attended by the party’s National Secretary K Narayana.

“But our party feels the need for a greater Left and secular democratic front to defeat the BJP. We are of the opinion that the Left parties should ally with the RJD and the Congress,” the CPI’s state secretary said.

“We have not had any talks with the RJD so far but we had talks with Bihar Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha and its campaign committee chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh with regard to having a broader opposition alliance to take on the BJP. We also held talks with Hindustan Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi,” Singh said.

The CPI (Marxist-Leninist), another Left party, had on December 21 expressed its support for a broader opposition alliance comprising all Left and other secular and democratic parties.

It has also constituted a three-member committee to hold parleys vis-a-vis seat sharing with the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance), which comprises the RJD and the Congress.

The CPI wants to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Begusarai, Khagaria, Madhubani, Motihari, Banka and Gaya seats, Singh said.

The CPI(ML) too wants to contest as many seats. The CPI(Marxist) has made it clear that it would field its candidate from the Ujiarpur seat, from where BJP leader Nityanand Rai won last time, with or without alliance.

Asked whether the alliance would be possible given the number of seats the Left parties want to contest, Singh said the CPI has been a “force to reckon with in Bihar” and no party can ignore this.

“Even Lalu Prasad understands this fact. But if an electoral alliance is stitched, then we may consider leaving some seats in the larger interest. There is no rigidity in the matter of number of seats,” he said.

Currently, the CPI has no MPs either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha from Bihar.

Singh said the CPI would support the nationwide general strike called by 10 central trade unions on January 8 and 9 to protest against “anti-worker policies” of the government.

The Left parties have also given the call for a ‘Bihar Bandh’ on January 9 over various issues including the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, he said.

Singh said the party would also organise a Vidhan Sabha march on February 18 in which around one lakh farmers from 25 different farmers associations are expected to participate.

Source: Press Trust of India