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CPM strikes alliance with BJD in Orissa
Pushes for Third Front

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi, March 8
The CPM was upbeat today in its quest to form a Third Front and struck a pre-poll alliance with the BJD in Orissa within a day after the ruling state party snapped ties with longtime ally BJP.

JD(S) leader and former premier H D Deve Gowda also wooed the BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to join the planned Third Front to provide a secular,non-Congress and non-BJP national alternative. Assembly elections are also being held in Orissa along with the Lok Sabha polls.

CPM’s politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters in Bhubaneswar after meeting Patnaik that his party would have a pre-poll alliance with the BJD and welcomed the end of ties between the BJD and BJP.

Patnaik responded to Yechury’s proposal saying, “BJD will have seat sharing adjustment with the Left parties.” Asked about BJD joining the Third Front, Yechuri said the discussion in this regard had already started with BJD disassociating itself from BJP.

Both Patnaik and Yechuri indicated that the issue of BJD joining a third front would be formalised after the elections. In New Delhi, CPM chief Prakash Karat welcomed the BJP-BJD split and said it was confident that more and more "non-Congress, non-BJP parties would join the Left" to forge a third alternative for the upcoming polls.

Gowda wrote a letter to Patnaik saying, “It is high time all like-minded secular forces sink their differences and work together for the toiling underprivileged, exploited and impoverished masses of India.” — PTI

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Patnaik betrayed people: BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 8
Demanding the resignation of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the BJP today said the BJD supremo had allegedly betrayed the people of the state.

Declaring to go it alone in Orissa in the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, the BJP said they would provide an alternative to both the BJD and the Congress in the state.

Recovering from the shock of the BJD walking out of the 11-year-old alliance formed virtually with the inception of the BJD sometime in 1998 under Naveen Patnaik, the BJP held its office-bearers’ meeting here today at the residence of its prime ministerial candidate LK Advani to take stock of the latest political development.

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “The BJD supremo has been misguided by his advisers and the Left parties. The people of Orissa have been betrayed by the BJD.”

Prasad, who was accompanied by the Editor-in-Chief of The Pioneer, Chandan Mitra (who had negotiated with Patnaik the seat-sharing arrangement), said, “The BJP will contest all the Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats in the state alone.”

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