Pitching for an alliance with Congress in the coming assembly elections in West Bengal, CPI(M) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday said people want such a tie-up to oust Trinamool Congress from power.
"... Lots of people are talking about the alliance. You need to understand why people are talking about the alliance, because they are demanding that all of us fight together to oust TMC from power," he said.
"There may be differences - differences between people but there is a single point which is to defeat TMC. We all have to fight together," Bhattacharjee said.
The CPI(M) state committee meeting on Friday will take a call on electoral tactics, including the issue of alliance with Congress.
This is the second time that the former chief minister has openly spoken in favour of an alliance. The first time was in January in a rally in Singur.
He also lashed out at the Trinamool Congress government and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"If the (Nano) factory was set up in the state, the situation would have changed in Singur. Not a single industry had come up in Bengal in last four-and-a-half years. She is only spreading lies. The state is going backwards. They (TMC) have destroyed the health care, education system in Bengal," he said.
Earlier in the day, CPI(M)-led Left Front formally agreed to discuss the issue of the alliance with Congress, if it is approached and the Congress said procedural methods should not be a constraint in the bigger interest of the people.
"Today in the Left Front meeting of 11 Left parties, we decided that if Congress wants to discuss (the issue of alliance) then we are ready to discuss the matter with them.
There is no harm in discussing with Congress. But the Congress has to call us for the discussion. We are yet to receive any letter asking for discussion from Congress," Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said.
Bose, who is also CPI(M) Politburo member, however, ducked the question whether Left Front would approach Congress if it declines to take the first step.
While reacting to Bose's comment, state Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra told PTI "We have placed our proposal to of our party high command. We are in the midst of consultations within the party. We feel that procedural methods should not act as a constraint where larger interest of the people of Bengal are involved."
The 11 major constituents of the LF include CPI(M), CPI, RSP and AIFB besides smaller Left parties.
The nod by Left Front to hold discussion with Congress comes just a day before the CPI(M) state committee meet which will take a call on electoral tactics, including the alliance with Congress.
The final decision on the issue of alliance will be taken by the party's central committee.
Asked what prompted LF to agree to discussions with Congress, Bose cited examples from World War II and said "When democracy is in peril, the democratic rights of the masses are curbed. We want to restore democracy. We are ready to discuss with those who want to restore democracy and a discussion with us."
He said the decision of alliance for the Congress can be taken only by the party's high command and not the state leaders.
Left Front partners likes RSP and others had during the meeting inquired what would be the mode of adjustment with Congress and what would be the deal of seat sharing.
However, Congress leaders from West Bengal remained divided on the issue during their meeting with party Vice-president Rahul Gandhi.