SP invites Left leaders for swearing-in of Akhilesh

New Delhi: Amid murmurs of formation of a third front, Samajwadi Party and CPI(M) today sought to bridge the gap between the two following their bitter parting of ways with the SP inviting top Left leaders for the swearing-in of Akhilesh Yadav as UP Chief Minister.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh, who steered the party to an impressive win in Uttar Pradesh, drove to the CPI(M) headquarters to meet its General Secretary Prakash Karat and invite him for the March 15 ceremony in Lucknow.

"Akhilesh has come along with Mulayam Singh Yadav. We congratulated them for the success in the elections. They invited us for the swearing-in ceremony and we have accepted the invitation," Karat told reporters after the 20-minute meeting at the AKG Bhavan here.

Karat, however, refused to answer questions on third front. Mulayam and Akhilesh did not speak to the waiting media.

Today`s meeting comes almost four years after the bitter parting of ways between the two parties over support on the nuclear deal.

CPI(M) was then weaving a coalition to corner the UPA-I and was banking on SP`s support but the latter changed its mind and supported the government on the nuclear deal. In the 2009 General Elections, CPI(M) had told its cadre to vote for secular parties like BSP, the bete-noire of SP.

The Left party rolling out the red carpet to the SP leaders is also seen as an attempt on their part to consolidate the non-Congress, non-BJP parties on one side.