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New Delhi: The top leadership of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, will meet next week to draw up a strategy to implement resolutions approved at the recent party congress, including expanding its base in the northern states and strengthening the organization with an emphasis on discipline.

Defined target: S. Ramachandran Pillai said the party aims to expand its base in the weaker states.

“The politburo will discuss the implementation of resolutions and decisions," S. Ramachandran Pillai, a senior politburo member, said on Tuesday. “The process of the reconstitution of all the committees will also begin soon. So, the leaders will discuss that also."

At the party congress that concluded 9 April, the CPM also decided to identify people’s issues that can be used to mobilize support for the party.

The organizational report adopted at the 20th party congress was aimed at revamping the organization and expanding its base in states where it’s not strong, especially in the north.

“From the party congress onwards, we have decided not only to earmark states, but also go down to regions, districts, areas and even to localities," Pillai had said after the organizational document got adopted at the party congress. “(We will) divide and entrust jobs to all levels of our party units and work towards expanding the party in the weaker states. This will henceforth tell us where exactly we lacked or progressed."

With the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announcing that it won’t support any Congress candidate or vice-president Hamid Ansari for the post of President, the CPM’s stand on the matter will be significant. President Pratibha Patil is due to retire in July and the process for the election of her successor is expected to begin in May. Ansari is also due to retire next month and his successor will be elected in June-July period.

“The CPM is for a consensus candidate and we will discuss the issue in the politburo meeting," Pillai said on Tuesday.

The CPM, along with three other Left parties, has about 5% of the votes that will decide the contest. During the 2007 presidential election, the Left parties had a 10% share, reflecting a higher number of seats in the electoral college.

According to a study conducted by the Centre for Media Studies, no candidate can become the President without the support of two of the three blocs—the Left parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party.

Although the CPM has announced that it won’t ally with the Congress electorally, two CPM leaders said the Communists are not likely to oppose the candidacy of either finance minister Pranab Mukherjee or Ansari if their names were proposed by the Congress and its allies.

Meanwhile, BJP ally Janata Dal (United) said it doesn’t agree with BJP leader Sushma Swaraj’s statement that the main opposition party would consider former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s name for a second term and that Ansari did not have the “stature" to be the President. “What Sushma Swaraj has said may be BJP’s opinion. We are not involved in any discussions at the moment," said JDU leader Sharad Yadav.

liz.m@livemint.com

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