CPI partnering Congress in Punjab too?

Congress Communist Party

, August 26

is ready to play second fiddle to in Punjab too.

The state council of the Communist Party of India (CPI) will hold a two-day meeting beginning here tomorrow to decide whether it should forge an electoral alliance with the Congress or not contest the Assembly election.
CPI national executive members including Joginder Dayal will attend the meeting.

It is learnt that senior members of the state council are in favour of a tie-up with the Congress in view of a resolution passed at the national council meeting in July. The latter had passed a resolution for forming a broad-based secular alliance to fight the right-wing forces. However, the CPM and some other Left parties are not keen on an alliance with the Congress. These parties want strengthening of the Left alliance.

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Four Left parties — the CPI, the CPM, the CPM (Punjab) and the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation) — are campaigning together in the state.

The Congress and the CPI have jointly contested the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections several times. The CPI had a strong presence in the Mansa-Bathinda-Malout belt and the region. Senior leaders in both parties are of the view that an alliance would be mutually beneficial.

Sources say the CPI could demand the Assembly seats of Mansa, Malout, Nihalsinghwala, Bathinda (Rural), Shutrana and Dirba if an alliance with the Congress materialises.