Mukherjee rules out early general electionsMarch 8th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, Mar. 8 (ANI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee does not foresee early general elections.
In an interview to television news channel NDTV, Mukherjee said no one in the government is talking of an early poll.
Significantly, he added, none of the Congress’ coalition partners want an early election.
When asked about the US deadline of May for the nuclear deal he said India has conveyed to Washington that New Delhi cannot work within specific deadlines.
Meanwhile, the CPM has clarified that they never intended to destabilise the government. Their focus was to somehow stop the government from proceeding with the nuclear deal.
On Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had held a fresh round of discussions on the Indo-US nuclear deal amid hectic political activity in both countries.
Gandhi and the partys core group met Singh at his official residence after CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan warned Singh that if the Government pushes ahead with the deal, his party would withdraw outside support to it.
“Should the Government decide to push ahead with the deal, we will not and cannot be a party to go along with it. We will then be left with no other option than to withdraw our support to the Government,” A B Bardhan wrote in his letter to Singh.
“Your talk of trying to build a consensus sounds hollow when you are fully aware that no such consensus is possible, a fact revealed in the Parliamentary debate itself,” Bardhan further added.
On Thursday, CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat wrote to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee seeking an immediate meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee on the US-India civil nuclear cooperation issue by March 15.
Mukherjee has has already said that the survival of the UPA Government is more important than the deal and that the Left parties have to be taken on board.
The Prime Minister had also said in Parliament that the Government’s attempt is to evolve the broadest possible consensus on the issue.
“We are a coalition Government. We will make every effort to take our allies along”, Congress party spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan told reporters here on Friday.
Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said: “Anything which is good for India in the long run, must be done. The deal will open up trade and commerce with other countries.”
The Left, which has over 60 members representing it in Parliament, has been giving outside support to the UPA Government since 2004. (ANI)
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