New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, the largest party of the Left Front, on Monday ruled out its participation in a pan-India opposition alliance for the 2019 general election.

The main task of the party was to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance at the centre, said CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, at a press conference at the end of a three-day meeting of the central committee, the highest decision making body of the party.

The central committee met to discuss the electoral strategy of the party in the 2019 general election and the upcoming assembly elections in Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

“A grand alliance on the national front is not possible. The main task in front of the CPM is to defeat the BJP. We will support to defeat the BJP. If alliances are looked at state-wise, we can look into it," said Yechury, who was guarded on an alliance with the Congress.

Yechury did not rule out a post-poll alliance. “Every election is different and it depends on what the election verdict throws up," he said.

The central committee has decided that the main task is to defeat the BJP alliance, increase the strength of the CPM and the Left in the Lok Sabha and ensure that an alternative secular government is formed at the centre.

“This has been worked out in accordance with the decisions taken at the last party congress. There is no question of deviating from our party congress," he said.

At the party congress in April, the CPM rejected an electoral alliance but kept the door open for an “understanding" with secular opposition parties, including the Congress. A majority of members of the CPM’s West Bengal unit had in August argued in favour of a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress. “The West Bengal unit has submitted its proposal to defeat the BJP and the Trinamool Congress in the state," Yechury said.

The central committee has decided that the CPM will contest elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in some seats and will campaign for the defeat of the BJP in the rest of the seats.

In Telangana, the CPM is contesting the election as a part of the Bahujan Left Front.

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