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No space for Third Front: Chidambaram

By Staff
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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 19 (UNI) Asserting that there is no space today for a Third Front, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the post-Assembly election scenario would not affect the stability of the UPA Government at the Centre.

Talking to newspersons here, he said everybody was aware of the 1998 lesson when the Congress decided to withdraw support to the United Front Government. As a result, secular parties were pushed to the Opposition and the BJP ruled for the next six years.

''I don't think any responsible secular party will make such a mistake,'' he added.

The Finance Minister said he was quite happy to implement the Common Minimum Programme in letter and spirit. In a coalition, one must take into account all coalition partners. Every party should make necessary adjustment to carry forward the programmes.

Mr Chidambaram, who is here for election campaign, said economic reforms being implemented in Delhi and other parts of the country should be followed in Kerala and West Bengal.

If any political party was opposed to private investment, capital market, global market, rupee convertability and foreign trade, then it was not in tune with the rest of the world.

''If such a party came to power, it will upset the rhythm of development,'' he added.

Though the economic reforms were introduced by the Centre long back, Kerala discovered the rhythm of development only during the past five years under the United Democratic Front Government, he claimed.

Mr Chidambaram also dismissed the Left's allegation that UDF Government's development policy was ''pro-rich.'' ''That is absolutely wrong. Such an argument is only an outdated ideology. Without economic growth, there is no chance of equality and social justice,'' he said.

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