Patna: The CPI(M) said today that it was open to form alliance with all political parties opposed to the BJP in Bihar and in other states if it is offered a "respectable" share of seats in the Lok Sabha election next year.
CPI(M) secretary-general Sitaram Yechury, who was in Patna to brief workers on the party Congress held in Hyderabad in April, said his party's main objective for the next general election would be to defeat the BJP-led ruling National Democratic Alliance.
With that in view, the CPI(M)'s strategy would be to avoid any split of anti-BJP votes, Mr Yechury told reporters.
"We are open to having an alliance with all parties opposed to the BJP in Bihar and elsewhere. Our only condition is we should get a respectable share of seats," he said.
The CPI(M) had fielded candidates on a limited number of seats in Bihar in the previous Lok Sabha poll and drawn a blank.
Asked whether he agreed with other anti-BJP parties assessment that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar betrayed the mandate of the 2015 assembly poll by walking out of the Grand Alliance with the Congress and the RJD, Mr Yechury only said "at one point of time he was being seen as a potential prime ministerial candidate."
"With his return to the NDA, he has squandered the opportunity," he said.
Yesterday, the CPI said it was in discussions with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad for a pre-poll alliance. CPI state secretary Satyanarayan Singh said they have completed the first round of talks with Mr Prasad.
Although his party was yet to take the CPI-ML (Liberation) on board, Mr Singh was confident that all anti-BJP parties will sink their differences to take on the saffron party.
Now relegated to a marginal position in Bihar politics, the Left parties had a significant presence in the state during the 1990s. CPI and CPI(M) even had pre-poll alliances with the Janata Dal, the party to which Mr Prasad belonged before he formed a coalition with the Congress in 2000.
In the 2015 assembly poll, the CPI-ML (Liberation) had won three seats but other Left parties had drawn a blank.
Legislators of CPI-ML (Liberation) have been supporting the line taken by the Congress-RJD combine on a number of issues raised in the state assembly, especially after the exit of Chief Minister Kumar from the Grand Alliance.