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Congress to play leading role: Surjeet

Source: PTI
May 13, 2004 14:51 IST
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Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet on Thursday said 'secular, democratic forces' would not be rigid over the issue of prime ministership.

He noted that the Congress party would have a leading role to play in an alternative government.

He said it was for the Congress to decide whether they project party chief Sonia Gandhi for prime ministership and the matter would be discussed among allies later.

"The main issue is to maintain the unity of forces who defeated NDA. For that whatever is to be done will be done," the veteran Communist leader said, as the results trickled in indicating a defeat for the NDA.

Asked whether Gandhi would be acceptable to them for prime ministership or the allies would insist on some other name, Surjeet said, "We cannot take a rigid stand but sort it out through consultations."

He said Congress has to play a leading role as it is 'the major party' in the non-NDA alliance and "other things will get solved in no time through the involvement of those people who have played a key role in defeating NDA'.

Asked whether efforts would be made to include Samajwadi Party and BSP, he said, "We are trying to include them and bring them together for unity among Left, democratic and secular forces, who stood against BJP."

Attacking Vajpayee government's policies, the CPM leader alleged it wanted to 'destroy basis of secularism in the country' by changing books and syllabus.

"The NDA government was determined to see India becoming a Hindutva state," Surjeet said.

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