Bardhan meets Ajit, increases Cong worries

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New Delhi, Jul 17 (UNI) The Left, which has launched an allout campaign to defeat the UPA Government in a trust vote in Parliament over the nuclear deal on July 22, today reached out to Rashtriya Lok Dal(RLD), a western Uttar Pradesh based party with three MPs, a number that counts greatly in today's scenario when there is neck-and-neck fight between the rival camps.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan had a 45-minute long meeting with RLD chief Ajit Singh, who was still undecided about his party's support to the UPA government and was reported to be bargaining hard with the Congress.

After the meeting, Mr Singh told reporters that he would take into account the new perspective Mr Bardhan has given to him about the current situation while taking any decision on the support to the UPA. He, however, said his party has common views and policies with the Left on many issues.

Mr Bardhan described the RLD chief ''as a very mature leader carrying with him the legacy of Ch Charan Singh whose contribution to the issues of farmers was known to all''.

''In today's scenario I thought it fit to discuss the issues with Mr Singh. Both of us kept our respective points of view before each other, but no decision has been taken,'' he said.

''Of course, you know my decision, but it is for Mr Singh to take his now,'' he added.

The RLD chief said he would soon call a meeting of his party MPs and other leaders to take a final decision.

When asked whether, the BSP was in touch with his party, Mr Singh replied in the negative.

On questions over the reported Government's decisioon to rename the Lucknow airport after his father and former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, and its relation to the need for his support to the Congress, the RLD chief said the proposal was not something new as he had raised this demand before the Prime Minister and the Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel several times in the past.

''It is a good decision, though it has come late,'' he said.

Replying to another question , he said though the present situation has been caused by the Left's withdrawal of support over the nuclear deal, but it was the other issues, especially the coming Lok Sabha polls, that would condition the decisions of political parties.

Mr Ajit Singh's party along with several other small parties and independents is poised to play a crucial role in deciding the fate of the Manmohan Singh Government that needs 272 in a House of 543 to win the trust vote, whereas it is at the momement assured of only the support of 260 MPs, it is believed.

UNI NAZ SB AS1256

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