Chidambaram dismisses possibility of early general elections

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Chennai, July 9 : Dismissing possibility of early general elections, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today expressed confidence that elections will be held on schedule in 2009.

"These are all hypothetical questions, elections will take place according to the schedule in April, May 2009," said Chidambaram.

Threat of early general elections loomed large over the nation after Left parties withdrew support from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government on Tuesday in protest against the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

Communist parties, which provided the government with a parliamentary majority for the last four years, formally told President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday that they have ended their support.

The Samajwadi Party leaders also met President Patil on Wednesday and handed over the letter of support to the UPA Government.

The withdrawal has left Prime Minister Manmohan Singh needing other parties support to ensure that his ruling coalition survives and an early election is avoided. The Congress-led UPA government believes that it has enough votes to prove majority in the Parliament after securing the backing of the Samajwadi Party.

Meanwhile, Steel, Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in an interview on Tuesday in New York, defended the government, and said it works keeping the national interest in mind.

"As I have said that the Communists have a different thinking, they have always had a different approach towards America and they look at everything from that perspective. Government of India has a neutral approach on everything, and takes a decision keeping the economic interest of the nation," said Paswan.

ANI

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