Baramati /Patna: Three prominent non-Congress leaders in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), including Sharad Pawar and Lalu Prasad, on Thursday sought to reach out to Left parties describing them as “our friends” whose “blessings” could be required in the post-poll scenario.
At the same time, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Pawar and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) supremo Ram Vilas Paswan differed on the issue of UPA’s PM candidate with the former saying that a decision will be taken later while the latter rooting for Manmohan Singh.
“I honestly feel that this time we require the blessings and support of the Left parties. That is why from the first day, I am consistently saying to all my colleagues in the UPA that let us keep good rapport with the Left,” Pawar said.
Striking a similar note, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Prasad said doors were “still open” for a post-poll alliance with the Left in the event of the UPA not being in a position to form a government.
“We had difference with the Left only over the civilian nuclear deal and nothing else. We have been friends with CPI (M) for a long time,” Prasad told reporters in Patna.
Paswan, who is contesting the elections along with RJD, sang the same tune asserting that the UPA was “not inimical” to the Left as they wanted them to be with secular forces.
However, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat sought to pour cold water on Congress plans to seek the Left support after the elections making it clear that “no government is possible with Congress”.
”Hum log kabhi bhi left ke virodh mein nahin hain ... Hum hamesha chahte hain ki Left secular forces ke saath rahe (We are never inimical to the Left parties...We always want that the Left parties be with secular forces),” Paswan said.
To another question, he said “no talks have taken place with the Left leaders so far on government-formation at the Centre.”
Pawar also complimented the Left parties, saying it was the “only section which will never support a communal outfit.”
“They have been supporting us. The credit goes to the Left also that we were able to give the country a stable government. The Left is the only section which will never support a communal outfit,” he said.
On the issue of prime ministerial candidate, the Maratha strongman refused to toe the Congress line, saying a decision on UPA Prime Minister can be taken only after a meeting of its allies.
“Congress has every right to declare Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. (But) when you take a decision on behalf of the UPA, you (UPA allies) will have to sit together and decide.”
“It is premature at this stage to discuss this issue...UPA constituents will decide on their leader in just one sitting,” Pawar said.
“UPA partners will be able to resolve the leadership issue to offer a stable government,” he added.
However, Paswan threw his weight behind Singh saying the LJP stands by him. “We would like Manmohan Singh to be the Prime Minister,” he said.