New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday appeared to be keeping Congress options open for a tie up with the Left parties and other allies fighting his party in the post-poll scenario, saying he has had a good experience working with all of them.
At an interaction with the members of the Editors Guild of India here, he was asked whether Congress would take support of the Left parties in forming the next government.
“We will cross the bridge when we come to it. As of now I am confident that the Congress would be able to form the government (with allies). I have dealt with the Left parties, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Ram Vilas Paswan, Sharad Pawar.
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“I have dealt with Jayalalithaa, DMK and PMK. I have also negotiated with Mufti Saheb (PDP leader). I have enough experience in dealing with diverse forces,” he said.
Asked whether he would like doing business with the Left, Singh said “well, I think circumstances will decide. But I was quite happy when as government we were dealing with the Left.”
The Prime Minister Singh stuck to his strident on his BJP rival LK Advani saying these were “very well considered” statement as he felt “enough is enough” on being called weak repeatedly.
“These were very well considered statements. Every serious observer of the political scene will find them as truth,” he said when asked whether his recent statements attacking Advani were an emotional response out of a sense of personal hurt.
“I did not respond to Advani earlier because there was no question at that time that I will be the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress party.
“Once the Congress party announced my name as the PM candidate I owe it to myself and to Congress to compare my record as Prime Minister and previously as finance minister with that of the BJP, specially that of Advani. I thought enough is enough,” he said.
Singh said he thought that the public at large should know “where the issue lies”.
In a response to Advani’s attacks, the Prime Minister on Monday had said the “iron man” had quickly melted during the Khandhar hijack crisis and was weeping in a corner when Barbi mosque was demolished by hoodlums.
Manmohan speaking different things at different times: CPI
New Delhi: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared to be keeping Congress’ options open for a tie- up with the Left, Communist Party of India on Wednesday said the Congress leader was speaking different things at different times.
“The Prime Minister is speaking different things in different places on different occasions. Just a couple of days ago, he was in Kerala where he accused the Left of always being on the wrong side of history. Now, he says a different thing,” party secretary D Raja said here.
However, the Left parties “have problems with the Prime Minister and his government on policy issues”, he said.
Raja said the Left parties withdrew their support to the UPA government due to “major differences of macro-level economic issues and finally over the Indo-US nuclear deal”.
He charged the government with not fulfilling even the promises made in the Common Minimum Programme to mitigate the problems of the common people, the peasants and the workers.
Left Front should be voted to power: Jyoti Basu
Kolkata: Ailing Marxist veteran Jyoti Basu on Wednesday expressed confidence that despite concerted efforts by opposition parties, the CPI(M)-led Left Front would emerge victorious in the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal.
“Notwithstanding efforts (by the opposition parties), the Left Front will win the Lok Sabha elections with the support of millions of people,” 95-year-old Basu said after releasing a CD at his Salt Lake residence on the Bengali New Year day.
Regretting his inability to attend any poll rally due to failing health, the former chief minister said, “Left Front will win the elections as it has plans and programmes and implemented people-oriented policies ever since it came to power.”
“I appeal to you from my bed to vote for the Front candidates and I am sure that your love and support will stand us in good stead,” Basu said.
Chidambaram picks holes in BJP’s ’discovery’ of Ambedkar
Mumbai: Home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday criticized BJP’s sudden “discovery” of B R Ambedkar citing Arun Shourie’s controversial book ‘Worshipping False Gods,´ which he claims has “outrageous views” of the saffron party on the late dalit leader.
“Suddenly BJP has discovered Baba Saheb Ambedkar... BJP’s outrageous views on Babasaheb Ambedkar are contained in this book ‘Worshipping false Gods´ by Arun Shourie... Not one reference has a good word for Dr Ambedkar,” the home minister said while talking to reporters here.
Noting that Shourie was “friend, philosopher and guide” of BJP, Chidambaram said, “Shourie’s advise is being sought on matters, which required an IQ of more than 60.”
He expressed hope that after discovering Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and B R Ambedkar, BJP would soon discover the virtues of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
On the occasion of B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on Tuesday, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani had said Congress did not do justice to Dalit icon and ignored the late leader while nominating members for the Constituent Assembly.
EC allows state-specific documents for identity of voters
New Delhi: The Election Commission has permitted certain state-specific documents in Chhattisgarh, Assam, Kerala and Maharashtra to establish identity of electors during the Lok Sabha polls beginning on Thursday.
These documents would be allowed in addition to the 13 alternative photo documents, like passport and PAN card, which were permitted for establishing identity of voters if they fail to produce the Electors Photo Identity Cards (EPIC).
In Chhattisgarh, ‘Bhoo Adhikar Evam Rin Pusthika´, with photograph issued on or before 28 February 2009, shall be permitted for establishing the identity of voters.
In Assam, where EPICs have not been issued, 11 additional documents, including the certificate issued by the management of tea garden estates to the employees, domicile certificates issued by government, permanent resident certificate issued by the district administration, revenue certificate issued by district magistrate/executive magistrate would be allowed.
In Kerala, ration card with photograph issued on or before 28 February 2009 and secondary school leaving certificate with photo in original would be allowed for establishing identity of electors.
Ration cards issued on or before 28 February 2009 shall also be permitted as an additional document for establishing identity in Maharashtra.