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Left fails to put united face at UPA meeting
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 18
The Left parties today failed to present a united face on the issue of attending the UPA meet, clearly indicating a rift within the so-called coherent combination.

CPI general-secretary A.B. Bardhan and its national secretary D. Raja attended the “dinner meeting.” However, other three Left parties — the CPM, the RSP and the AIFB, decided to wait till August 25, when the UPA-Left Coordination Committee meeting will take place.

Incidentally, in the Left coordination meeting held on August 16, all four parties had decided to attend the meeting.

Party sources indicated that the three major Left parties did not attend the meeting as a mark of protest against the government’s defiant stand on the issue of hiking in foreign direct investment in telecom, civil aviation and insurance and the cut in the EPF interest rate.

Another reason, sources pointed out that the CPM and other two Left parties would like to maintain its distance with the UPA government as close interaction could send wrong signal of its co-option with the ruling alliance. The Left parties does not want to leave the space of the Opposition, while supporting the government from outside.

On the other hand, the CPI, which believes in ‘unity and struggle with the Congress’ and is keen on joining the government, wants to utilise the forum to express the Left parties views.

CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi said, “There is absolutely no difference of opinion among the Left parties, but the CPI decided to join today’s UPA meeting as the Manipur issue was likely to be discussed.”

Among the Left parties it is the CPI which has a stake in Manipur, he said adding that the party would not like the UPA to arrive at a decsion without its knowledge.

CPM politburo member Ramachandran Pillai said “this is not a rift or lack of united stand within the Left parties.”
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