Congress, BJP openly preparing for polls: Left

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New Delhi, Sep 25: The Left parties today made it clear that they are not itching for the mid term polls, but did not rule out such a possibility in the given political scenario.

The top leaders of the CPI(M) and CPI chose to remain tightlipped on Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi's induction as General Secretary in the Congress, while RSP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Abani Roy did see the major reshuffling in the grand old party as a clear signal towards the snap polls which, he said, might be held early next year.

However, CPI(M) senior leaders M K Pandhe and Mohammad Salim and CPI national Secretary Shamim Faizi did say that the Congress and the BJP were" openly" preparing for the Lok Sabha polls and that they would face the situation as it came.

Significantly, while the CPI(M) has convened a four-day conclave commencing September 28 in Kolkata, the CPI has summoned a three-day "special meeting" of the party National Executive and the National Council also from September 28 here to deliberate on the fast changing political developments.

Mr Pandhe, the veteran Communist leader, said his party was not "itching" for the polls, but if the UPA imposed mid-term elections on the country, the Left parties were prepared to face the test.

"The Left have already made it clear to the ruling coalition that it will not be a party to the Indo-US nuke deal. Now the ball is in the government's court. If it decides to operationalise the deal, it means that it wants to push the country towards the snap polls," said the CPI(M) senior leader.

Resonating Mr Pandhe's viewpoint, Mr Faizi emphasised that the government should heed the concerns expressed by the Left if it really wanted to avoid a" preponed polls." While denying that the differences in the Left existed on the need for "review and re-defining" their relationship with the 40-month-old Manmohan Singh government in the wake of the latter's"deviation" from the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) on the economic and foreign policy issues, Mr Pandhe said," all decisions are taken unanimously in the Left meetings." The CPI leader stated it is very much clear that the Left is not going to pull down the government and thrust elections on the country." However, they can not be part of the government's decision to tie up with the long term strategic partnership involving military cooperation dependence with the US and jeopardise our nuclear sovereignty." Mr Salim said it is now incumbent upon the government to proceed in such a manner where they can show to the nation that the decision is democratic and carries the majority support and is in consonance with the CMP.

Mr Faizi hoped that the UPA will come out with a "changed attitude" in the October 5 UPA-Left Political Panel meet.

Mr Roy was more forthcoming and straight when he said there was hardly any possibility of the" compromise formula" to remove the doubts and apprehensions of the Left on the nuke Pact.

He even went to the extent of saying even if the Left withdrew its support to the government, the latter would continue to function constitutionally.

"Of course, it will be then a minority government. For fall of the any government, there has to be a Vote of No Confidence against it," the RSP leader said adding that but nobody wanted elections at the moment.

On the CPI and the RSP's growing emphasis on the need for the Left to" review and redefine" its relationship with the UPA government, Mr Roy said his party had already put forward this viewpoint time and again.

"This has become important all the more because the aam admi feels completely cheated now- the galloping price rise, the collapse of the PDS, the unabated farmers suicides coupled with agrarian crisis, the shrinking job opportunities, the entry of the Corporates in the retail sector to snatch employment from over 50 million people associated with the unorganised sector."


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