Talks between political parties normal in democracy: Congress

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New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) The Congress today said it was neither surprised nor alarmed over the reports of meeting between CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) leaders on the Indo-US Nuclear deal as such talks were "normal." "If the Left parties talk to other political parties, we are not surprised or alarmed. In a democratic system, such talks are normal," AICC Spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told mediapersons at the Party headquarters here.

She, however, said the Congress strongly stood by its consistent position that the nuclear deal was the best thing that could have happened for the country." Ms Natarajan said those who were against the deal were free to have their own viewpoints.

"However, we are continuing effort to convince the Left parties and take them on board," she said, adding the party was very confident that there would not be a mid-term poll. "We will continue to convince our allies." The spokesperson justified the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that it would be difficult at times to function in competitive politics and fractured verdict, and said "Dr Singh stands very firm, unflinching and totally devoted to his duties." "A coalition gives any political party only a limited mandate...We will have to submit to coalition compulsions," she said.

Asked why the BJP had shifted its focus of attack from Congress President Sonia Gandhi to Dr Singh, Ms Natarajan said "the saffron party is now trying to destabilise the office and the authority of the Prime Minister." Asked if the squabbles within the UPA and its differences with the Left were an indication that the Congress had not yet come to terms with the coalition politics, Ms Natarajan said "Dr Singh had managed the allies in a more matured and sensible manner." UNI

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