Basu, the former Chief Minister of West Bengal and a veteran communist leader said
at his Salt Lake residence on Tuesday that the Left may join the government.
Basu's comments came a day after
CPM general secretary Prakash Karat left it to the party central committee to
take the call.
In 1996, CPM had refused to let Basu take the PM's oath at the head of a United
Front government something he later
termed a "historic blunder".
According to party insiders, the CPM patriarch hinted at this possibility only
to reassure the Left-of-the-Centre voters in West Bengal that the Left would
take more responsibility, rather than acting as "watchdogs" from
outside, a CPM leader said.
"The Third Front's forming a government is difficult. Yet the Third Front
is a viable alternative. And if it is able to form the government, the Left may
join this time. We could not do it last time," the CPM patriarch said with
a tacit reference to 1996, when Basu was prevented by the majority in the CPM
central committee led by the young turks Prakash Karat, Biman Bose and Sitaram