Left blows hot and cold against UPA govt

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New Delhi, Apr 21 (UNI) Even while running down the UPA government and joining hands with the UNPA on the price rice issue, the CPI(M) does not appear to be in a mood to pull down the Manmohan Singh regime.

An indication to this effect was given by party leader Salim Mohammed who said the UPA government had not totally digressed from the common minimum programme (CMP) despite failure to check the price spiral, universalise the public distribution sytstem(PDS) and pursue an independent foreign policy.

Asked if the UPA government had derailed, the Marxist deputy leader in the Lok Sabha quipped; ''If it was so we would have told you.'' When questioned if the Left stood by the UPA or UNPA, Mr Mohammed said; ''We are not with the Congress though we have extended outside support to it on the agreed document of the CMP.'' On their joint protest action with the UNPA on April 19, he said; ''This is not the first joint action. We had also held a joint rally with them on the sanctions against Iran.'' His senior colleagues Basudeb Acharia and Rupchand Pal, on the other hand, joined issue with Finance Minister P Chidambaram by rejecting his philosophy of stand alone ecnomic growth. ''Growth has no meaning for 80 per cent of the country's people if it is neither inclusive nor equitable. If economic growth fails to benefit people in health, education and employment sectors, it has no meaning for the common man.'' They said as per Mr Chidambaram's theory of growth, market forces were deciding everything, be it subsidy given to exporters and promotion of speculative equity market, to benefit only a small segment of population.

Mr Chidambaram, in an apparent challenge to the Left, has reportedly said that one should come forward to repudiate any ideology which professes that growth indices are irrelevant.

UNI KSA/SAA RR BD1550

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