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Left wants PM to learn coalition dharma

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 5 ( UNI ) Left parties today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to realise the ground reality that the era of one party rule in Indian politics is over and that the coalition phase was there to stay.

They were reacting to Dr Singh's observation that the UPA government headed by him had not made the desired progress on reforms front as the coaliton government had its limitations.

In an interview to the Financial Times, London, on the completion of two years in office of his government, Dr Singh, the architect of economic reforms, said that heading a coalition government had prevented him from making as much progress as he would like in areas such as labour reforms and privatisation.

The PM also remarked that the next three years would show that his was a caring government chasing "growth with a human face" and that India's economy had grown between 7.5 per cent and eight per cent for the third year in a row.

In separate conversations with UNI, the leaders of the CPI,CPI(M) and RSP, the main prop of the Congress-led coalition, while airing their reservations, impressed upon the PM that as one party rule was no longer possible, the Congress should adhere strictly adhere to the coalition dharma and not violate the CMP, the basis of the Left support.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said," During the UPA government's tenure in office the CMP has been observed more in violation than implementation." The PM was talking about restraints of the coalition government without realising that India was in the coalition era and that it was going to stay for a long time, Mr Bardhan said.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and Rajya Sabha member, Sitaram Yechury, in a more subtle manner, said it was still good that the progress the PM had "visualised" had not been accomplished." The Left has been opposing and resisting the government's attempts to usher in flexible labour laws regime because the world experience shows that it had led to impoverishing the people at large and widening the economic divide."

Mr Yechury said there was nothing known as "anti or pro reforms.'' "The CPI(M) will support those reforms which are pro-people and resist all those reforms which are anti people," Mr Yechury said adding that till date they had not received any official communique about so called reforms in the arena of labour laws. The CPI(M) stalwart said they were committed to protect the interests of the workers and would always resist any" encroachment" on their rights.

He stressed that the current coalition government with the Left outside support to it was" the best guarantee of not allowing it to go astray and ruthlessly following the discredited path of privatisation and liberalisation, which is not at all in the interest of the people at large." CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi said the Left pressure had prevented the PM from moving on issues like the labour reforms and privatisation, but the economic ministries had violated the promises and commitments made in the CMP," which is essentially the violation of coalition dharma." "The Congress had yet to learn to run the coalition government.

Some of its leaders still harbour the unfounded hope that the Congress will come back to power on its own, which is contrary to the ground realities prevailing in the country," Mr Bardhan and Mr Faizi observed.

Besides, the Left leaders pointed out that the coalition politics had yet to graduate to higher stage in our country where socio- economic policies formed the basis of governance.

CPI(M)'s another senior leader Nilotpal Basu, pointed out that the PM must realise that the coalition he was heading could not be run on" his personal view" but on the basis of the agreed CMP.

Reminding Dr Singh of his earlier statement that privatisation was not a matter of ideology for him, the CPI(M) leader said his latest remark betrayed his earlier stand.

RSP leader and MP Abani Roy said Dr Singh's remark brought to the fore his "real intention".

"If the Left pressure was not there he would have by now opened up every sector to the big MNCs,'' Mr Roy said.

UNI

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