Bardhan meets Ajit Singh to get him on board

July 17th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Leftists Thursday stepped up their efforts to rope in more political parties in their bid to oust the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in the crucial floor test July 22. Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan Thursday morning drove down to the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh’s residence in Tughlak Road here.

The RLD chief, who has so far kept his cards close to his chest, is being courted by both the Manmohan Singh government and the communists, who are determined to topple the government.

Ajit Singh, who has three MPs in the Lok Sabha, and has said that he supports the deal, but has not spelled it out whether he would be voting in favour of the UPA government or not.

Sources said the senior CPI leader explained the communists’ position on the India-US civil nuclear deal to Ajit Singh, whose party was part of the Samajwadi Party-led Mulayam Singh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh till it was voted out in the assembly elections in May 2007.

From the Leftists’ point of view, the Bardhan-Ajit Singh meeting is considered the second most crucial after Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat met Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati Sunday.

Following the meeting, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati had then contacted the president of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Chandrasekhara Rao.

Rao, who was uncertain about voting in favour or against the government, declared that his party would vote against the government soon after his meeting with Mayawati as the UPA had failed to pass a resolution giving a commitment on the issue of forming a separate Telengana. The TRS has three members in parliament.

After the Samajwadi Party’s 39 MPs, smaller parties like the RLD may make up the votes needed to help the UPA reach the halfway mark of 271 in the Lok Sabha.

Karat has vowed that the Left would ensure that the contentious India-US civil nuclear deal does not get “operationalised during the life of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government”.

He had also said he was in touch with all parties which can take a stand against the deal, an issue that made them withdraw support to the government. The 59-member strong Left parties withdrew their support July 9.

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