Addressing the inaugural session of the 23rd state conference of the CPM here on Wednesday,general secretary Prakash Karat regretted that the party had become weak both in Kerala and West Bengal since the last party congress three years ago.
Karat also ruled out the formation of a Third Front and said that the party would rather go for issue-based local alliances as a matter of strategy to fight the Congress and BJP and also regain its lost ground.
Incidentally,it was after 40 years that the CPM was holding a state conference as an opposition party. Nearly 800 delegates participated in it,including politburo members Sitaram Yechury,Brinda Karat,Biman Bose,Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Nirupam Sen.
Karat said the party would have to work for strengthening the secular democratic forces and comrades would have to launch joint struggle,based on local issues,with regional outfits. The worst-affected people are from the unorganised sectors and those hit by policies of economic liberalisation,he said,adding that the party will stand by them.
Former Bengal minister Nirupam Sen briefed the media,which was kept out of the sesion,after Karats speech. He said Karat felt that in Bengal people were fast getting disillusioned with the present government but that did not mean the Communists were gaining in strength.