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My cabinet berth will not affect UPA-Left coordination: Antony

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) Former Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony, who was today sworn-in as the Defence Minister, said his presence in the Manmohan Singh ministry would not change the equations of the UPA with the Left parties, which are supporting the government from outside.

"The existing cooperation will definitely continue. In fact, I will strive for strengthening the cooperation between the UPA and the Left parties at the national level," Mr Antony, a fierce critic of the Left parties in his state where the communists are the main rivals of the Congress, told mediapersons immediately after the swearing-in.

He, however, asserted that the "political fight" between the Congress and the Left parties would continue in Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal. "No cooperation is possible in these states," he added.

Mr Antony's response came to a question if his presence in the Manmohan Singh ministry would not upset the present relationship between the Congress-led UPA and the Left parties, whose support is crucial for the survival of the 29-month-old ministry.

UNI SH MIR DB2145

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