Leftists always take anti-national stand: Vasant Sathe

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Nagpur, Jul 16 (UNI) Veteran politician and former Union minister Vasant Sathe today said the Leftists always adopted an 'anti-national' stand on vital issues, only to regret it later.

Speaking at a 'meet the press' programme hosted by Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ) here, Mr Sathe claimed the Leftists opposed the country's freedom movement, only to regret it later. Then, they criticised Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, even dubbing him a Fascist, but were repentant afterwards for their stand, he said.

They were even against the 'Quit India' movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi, Mr Sathe said.

The Leftists are adopting a similar stand now and have been opposing the nuclear deal, which was, in fact, very favourable to the country, he said, adding, ''The opposition (of the Left) to the nuclear deal is without logic.'' Taking a dig, Mr Sathe said the Leftists would later clamour for nuclear power plants in West Bengal and Kerala (where the Left is in power) when these became common.

Although the government would survive the test of majority on the floor of the Lok Sabha on July 22, general elections were imminent, the veteran Congress leader said.

''The days afterwards will be very difficult. We do not know the expectations of the new allies,'' he said.

In fact, if the Election Commission (EC) agreed, Lok Sabha polls could be conducted simultaneously along with the assembly elections in six states where these were due, the former Union minister, who has handled several important portfolios like power, information and broadcasting, said.

Mr Sathe said the country should have an 'electoral college' of all the directly elected people's representatives -- right from the Panchayat to Parliament -- to elect the Prime Minister.

''With around 60 lakh members, imagine the mandate that the Prime Minister would have. Right now, we have a minority Prime Minister chosen by MPs elected by a minority,'' he added.

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