Left may participate in secular govt in Assam

Guwahati: Predicting a hung assembly in Assam, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Tuesday did not rule out participation of the Left Front in a secular government with like-minded parties.

Talking to reporters here on CPI-M`s role in government formation in Assam, Sarkar said, "No party here can form the government on its own. There has to be post-poll realignment. So after a working agreement with like-minded parties on burning issues, we can form a secular government here".

The first of the two-phase assembly elections in the state was held yesterday while the concluding phase will be held on April 11.

On the prospects of CPI-M`s victory in the state, Sarkar said, "We are hoping for the best as we are fighting against rising corruption, price and unemployment here. The BJP is trying to divide the society and the rest of the parties performance will be known after the poll results are out."

Referring to the new system introduced by the Election Commission to provide voter slips instead of the political parties, he called for state funding of electioneering material such as posters, banners, etc., to stop corruption.

Sarkar said he was hopeful of the prospects of the Left Front in poll-bound Kerala and West Bengal.

"In Kerala we are hopeful of victory as the Left has played a pivotal role in development of that state. People are responding to what the CPI-M has done for their welfare," Sarkar, who is here to campaign for his party candidates for the second phase of elections, said.

"If the people want the good work to continue and reverse the negative role of the earlier Congress-led government then they should consolidate the hands of the Front," Sarkar said.

"Our Politburo members are very confident. Prakash Karat is speaking very positively about the Front`s victory there," he said.

To queries about the Left Front`s victory in West Bengal where it is facing a stiff challenge from the Trinamool Congress, the CPI-M leader said, "They are trying their best to win as they have been working for the welfare of the common people.

"The Left will be able to overcome all odds facing the people, particularly of the minority community. We will do introspection of our previous failures."