Let CPM withdraw support to UPA : Pranab Mukherjee
Kolkat, Apr 8: Sending out a veiled challenge to the Left, West Bengal Pradesh Congress President Pranab Mukherjee today prodded the CPI(M) to withdraw support to the UPA Government and said his party would explain to the people the situation that led to formation of a Left supported coalition at the centre.
"Let the CPI(M) withdraw support to us, if it wants. We will go to the people in the state to tell them under what circumstances a Common Minimum Programme had to be formed and a coalition Government installed with Left support," he told reporters while releasing the party's election manifesto jointly with AICC General Secretary Margaret Alva.
The function was organised at a city hotel, perhaps to evade any disturbance over allocation of tickets, though an aggrieved local leader staged a demonstration with his supporters outside keeping police on tentrehooks.
Mr Mukherjee said the people of the country had been giving verdict in favour of coaltion since 1989 and it was under this situation that neither the Congress nor the BJP got the required majority to form Government. " This led us to prepare a CMP and form a coaltion Government," he said.
Initiating an attack on the CPI(M), Mr Mukherjee criticised veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu allegedly for making appeals to police and Government officials to ensure the victory of the ruling Left Front.
"It is a matter of concern when a former Chief Minister and Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) appeals to to police, Government officials and non-gazetted officers to help instal seventh Left Front Government," he said.
Ridiculing the Front Government for its claim for achievement in agriculture and the slogan for industrialisation, the PCC President asked how many agri-based industries had been set up in the state.
Ms Alva also alleged that the CPI(M) was trying to steal the glory for implementation of the central schemes like Employment Guarantee and Bharat Yojna in West Bengal.
Referring to the flopped alliance move between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, Ms Alva blamed Ms Mamata Banerjee for frustrating the move for an opposition unity.
"We told her repeatedly that the Congress can not go for any alliance involving the BJP. We invited her to lead a secular non-Left Front against the Left, but she backed out," she said.
Mr Mukherjee said in the last Assembly elections, the Congress had contributed to Trinamool's kitty of 60 seats, as the party, then having a tie up did not field its own candidates in those constituencies.
In reply to a question on the party's internal bickerings in Murshidabad district that led Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury to field rebel candidates in three constituencies, Mr Mukherjee categorically said under no circumstances shall the party revise its decision by withdrawing the official nominees.
"Congreess fared well in last Lok Sabha, Panchayat and Assembly elections in Murshidabad district. Our decision was that the sitting MLAs would get tickets. Now it is not at all possible to change that decision," he said.