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Cong trying to forge broad-based anti-BJP front against CAA
PRANJAL BHUYAN
 GUWAHATI, Dec 20 - Principal Opposition Congress has started reaching out to other ‘anti-BJP’ parties with a view to coordinate the ongoing agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 or the CAA and to create a broad-based front on the issue.

Sources told The Assam Tribune that a delegation of senior Congress leaders led by Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora visited the State headquarters of the Communist Party of India (CPI) at Rajgarh Road here earlier this week in this regard.

“Yes, a delegation from our party visited the CPI office. We discussed the issue of the ongoing agitation. We will soon establish contact with other parties also, including the CPM. We will meet leaders of the CPM and other parties. Our aim is to coordinate our efforts on the anti-CAA agitation among all the Opposition parties,” a senior State Congress office-bearer told this newspaper.

Meanwhile, sources in the CPI admitted that they have received feelers from the Congress.

“The Congress delegation led by Bora visited our office. They discussed the issue of CAA and the ongoing agitation with us. They were of the opinion that all parties opposed to the CAA should fight unitedly against the Act,” a CPI leader told this newspaper on condition of anonymity.

Asked what response the CPI gave to the proposal of the Congress party, he said, “It was basically a courtesy call. We told the Congress leaders that they should also hold talks with other constituent parties of the Left Democratic Manch (LDM). In Assam, our party, the CPI, is a member of the LDM. And the LDM have been jointly organising and undertaking protests against the CAA. So if the Congress party is really serious about making the anti-CAA movement more broad-based, then it should also hold similar consultations with other Left parties.”

The CPI leader, however, admitted that his party prefers a unified approach in the ongoing agitation against the amended Citizenship Act.

“We are glad that the Congress party has realised the importance of unity among all the anti-BJP forces. There have been numerous instances over the years when the CPI and other anti-BJP parties had directly or indirectly made overtures to the Congress on a number of issues, but were rebuffed,” said the leader.

He added that not all the constituents of the 11-party LDM have the same opinion regarding the Congress.

“Some of the LDM constituents are totally opposed to the Congress, while there are some others who would not mind having some sort of understanding with the Congress to fight against the policies and programmes of the BJP, like the CAA,” said the CPI leader.

Asked if there is likelihood that the latest overture made by the Congress to the CPI could lead to some sort of understanding in the electoral arena of Assam in the coming days, the leader said, “It is too early to comment on that.”

It is noteworthy that senior Congress leader and former State Minister Rakibul Hussain had earlier this week said that all those opposing the CAA should jointly fight against the legislation.

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