‘Congress will form government without Left support’

April 23rd, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) The Congress party is poised to improve its tally in the 15th Lok Sabha and would not require the support of Left parties to form a government at the centre after the ongoing elections, a central minister said here Thursday.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chauhan told mediapersons that in the last (2004) Lok Sabha elections, the Congress contested on its own strength and was able to form the government.

“This time, our tally will increase, as also the strength of our allies, barring one or two. We shall be able to form the government without the support of the Left parties,” Chauhan said, hours after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar expressed a diametrically opposing view.

When repeatedly queried about the Left parties support and recent remarks by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat - whether Congress will support the Left, Chauhan said that the Left should first declare whether they want to lead the government, or they will join it.

“We are certain that the Left parties would not be a part of a communal government,” he said, adding that the Congress has no doubts that the Left parties are secular.

To a question on the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, Chauhan said that “he always buckles under pressure.”

Citing the Kandahar Indian Airlines aircraft hijack incident, Chauhan said that “Advani is unable to take decisions.”

“People can commit mistakes, but after realizing that they have made a mistake, they must also own it up. It shows the strength of a person’s character,” Chauhan added.

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