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If Harsimrat loses, it'll be beginning of the end of Badals' dynastic rule: CPI

Harsimrat-Manpreet-Badal-PunChandigarh, March 24, 2014–

The Communist Party of India (CPI) and its Marxist twin CPM will contest only five of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, leaving the field open for rivals in seven constituencies.

The CPI, however, will support Manpreet Singh Badal, candidate of the Congress and People's Party of Punjab (PPP) alliance, in Bathinda, where the Left party has a strong base, CPI central committee member Dr Joginder Dayal has confirmed here on Sunday, adding: "It's not the Congress or Manpreet, the issue is to defeat the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Bathinda. If Harsimrat loses, it'll be the beginning of the end of the Badals' dynastic rule in the state."

Justifying the CPI's not contesting in its stronghold, Bathinda, Dayal said the secular vote should remain intact if the SAD was to be defeated. Bhan Singh Bhaura of the CPI had won the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat in 1999 in alliance with the Congress. The seat went to the SAD in 2004 and 2009.

The two Left parties would meet to decide their role in the seven constituencies where they won't contest. The CPI state unit is divided virtually over the options available for a truck with the Congress, if the latter agreed to spare the Faridkot seat, which has not happened.

It was Punjab CPI secretary Bant Brar who showed the red flag to any attempt by Dayal for an alliance with the Congress. The CPI has declared candidates for Faridkot (Kashmir Singh Godayian) and Amritsar (Amarjit Singh Asal), while the CPM has fielded Balbir Singh Jadla from Anandpur Sahib and Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon from Ludhiana.

"This is not an alliance (between the CPI and CPM) but seat adjustment," said Punjab CPM secretary Charan Singh Virdi, adding that unlike the CPI, the CPM would not support Manpreet in Bathinda.

The CPI and the CPM are both keen to contest the Sangrur seat, for which the latter has even announced Joginder Singh Aulakh as candidate. Punjab CPI secretary Bant Brar, however, said the two Left parties were still resolving the candidate for Sangrur.

The Pasla faction of the Communist Party of IndiaMarxist, known as CPM-Punjab Mangat Ram Pasla, is also in the Lok Sabha battle. It will field contestants in Jalandhar and Khadoor Sahib.

*HT Media Ltd.

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