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Not averse to dealing with TDP: Jyoti Basu

Saturday 7 May 2005

Special Correspondent

"TDP’s move to break ranks with NDA a good sign"

KOLKATA: The Left is not averse to holding talks with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leadership if the latter so desired, veteran leader and Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member, Jyoti Basu, said here on Friday.

The TDP’s decision to break ranks with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and participate in Parliament proceedings indicated the first signs of a fissure within the NDA, West Bengal’s former Chief Minister said.

The TDP ended its six-day boycott of Parliament on Thursday even though the decision, according to its leaders, was made "under protest." The NDA has been boycotting Parliament demanding the resignation of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad for his alleged role in the fodder scam.

The CPI(M) leadership has been talking of an alternative third front. The point was also emphasised at the conclusion of the party’s 18th congress in New Delhi last month.

The Telugu Desam, Mr. Basu said, had functioned well as a constituent of the Government led by H.D. Deve Gowda, which was supported from the outside by the Left parties. Its subsequent decision to ally with the NDA had spelt disaster in Andhra Pradesh, as observed by the World Bank.

Mr. Basu said he believed that the TDP move could facilitate a split in the NDA. "The party seems to have realised its mistake of aligning with the NDA. ... This is a good sign," he said. The TDP’s move was "good," Mr. Basu said. The party had taken the correct decision and was "on the right course."

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