"The 11 parties have decided to hold a meeting after the current Parliament session where they will announce the formation of this alternative. There will be a declaration which will set out the basic framework, the principles and the direction of this alternative," party general secretary Prakash Karat said.

"Given the nature of the parties that are getting together, it is not necessary that there should be an electoral alliance or seat adjustments between all these parties," he said in an article in the forthcoming issue of CPI(M) organ 'People's Democracy'.

Karat said, “Since many of these parties were state based, it is not feasible to have seat adjustments with other constituent parties in other states."

The 11 parties could "pool their strength from their respective states for an all-India combination," he said, while noting that the electoral battle would be between three combinations - Congress-led UPA, BJP-led NDA and the non-Congress, non-BJP combination.

Karat said this combination would set out a framework of political positions and policies against Congress and BJP and ‘strengthen the efforts of the constituent political parties in the elections in their respective states and areas’.

Maintaining that these parties ‘may be joined by some other parties who are today not in Parliament’, he said, “This combination would "provide an alternative to the people who are fed up with the Congress and will also effectively counter the BJP's claim to be the alternative.”

“The emergence of such an alternative would become the rallying point for all the secular-democratic forces in the country who want to see an end to Congress rule and who want to prevent the party with a communal ideology coming to power at the Centre," he added.

The senior CPI (M) leader noted that in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the combined vote percentage polled by Congress and BJP was 46.7 and 47.4 percent respectively.

"Since then, Assembly elections in various states have shown the strength of the regional parties which were able to win substantial support and form governments," he said.

These parties like AIADMK, Samajwadi Party, Biju Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United) have decided to be part of the non-Congress, non-BJP combination. Other regional parties like the Janata Dal (Secular), Asom Gana Parishad and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha are also in the alternative combination.

Observing that there were some more parties, which had joined the anti-communalism convention in October last year, he said, "Except for the NCP, which is part of the UPA, all the other parties share a common goal of fighting both the BJP and the Congress."

"In contrast to the BJP's projection of an authoritarian leader based on majority communalism, the non-Congress secular opposition combination is based on a totally different paradigm," he said.

Karat said the Left and regional parties were strong votaries of the federal principle and the combination would reflect in these parties with separate identities and autonomy coming together.

"This will also enable the Left parties to utilize the election campaign to propagate the alternative policies which are a counter to the neo-liberal policies," he said.

(Agencies)

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