People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 04, 2004
Efforts On For Uniting Secular Forces: Surjeet
CPI(M) general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet has said that efforts are on to gather all secular forces for a coordinated fight to defeat the BJP-led NDA in the coming Lok Sabha polls. He announced that there would be two secular fronts --- one having the Congress and its allies and the other having the Left and its allies. There would be coordination among these fronts for ensuring the defeat of the BJP.
to newspersons at AKG Bhavan on December 31, Surjeet informed the media about
his talk with the Congress president Sonia Gandhi on December 30 and with
Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav on December 31.
Gandhi had met Surjeet at his residence for 45 minutes on December 30 to discuss
about the forthcoming general elections and the stand of the party. “I have
told her that the Congress idea of having one broad front of secular forces to
take on BJP is difficult as the Left has differences with the Congress on
fundamental issues such as economic policies. As the Left would like to
demarcate itself from these World Bank driven policies, formation of one single
platform under the Congress is not possible,” said Surjeet. He, however, made
it clear that there would be coordination and that both the proposed fronts will
contribute to defeating the BJP so that the country could move ahead on a new
Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has informed Surjeet that his party is committed
to defeating the BJP in the coming polls. According to Surjeet, the one major
issue raised by Mulayam Singh was that the BSP, given its past track record,
should be kept out of the secular camp. Surjeet was informed that the working
committee of the Samajwadi Party would meet shortly to discuss this issue.
also informed the media that, to pursue these initial efforts further, he would
be travelling to Chennai on January 3 for holding talks with the DMK chief M
Karunanidhi, at the latter’s invitation.
to questions, he made it clear that the question of leadership had neither been
raised nor discussed in his meeting with Sonia. “It is dependent on who gets
the majority. The main question before us today is defeating the BJP,” said
to reveal which parties would form part of the secular front, Surjeet said,
“Talks have begun. Efforts are in initial stages. I do not want to name now
which parties would come into the fold.” When asked specifically whether NDA
parties are being considered, Surjeet made it clear they are not. However, if by
their own experience, they decide to come out, like what the DMK has done, they
would be considered, he said.