No future ties with Congress, declares Karat

July 31st, 2008 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat Thursday ruled out any future alliance with the Congress and said emphatically that the Left would continue to combat the government in parliament. The CPI-M led Left parties - that had withdrawn support to the Manmohan Singh government over the India-US civil nuclear deal - had not yet taken a decision on who would be their prime ministerial candidate, he added.

“We have not decided yet,” Karat told the Malayalam channel Kairali TV in Thiruvananthapuram, when asked if Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was their candidate for the top post.

The CPI-M general secretary stressed that there would not be any ties with the ruling Congress, whose government the Left supported for four years from May 2004.

“We will not support the Congress again,” he said, adding that there would be a non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in place after the 2009 elections.

Karat explained that the Left would enter into an electoral alliance, though he did not want it to be named the ‘third front’.

Predicting that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, which won the July 22 trust vote in the Lok Sabha, would face “many roadblocks” in parliament, Karat said the Left would continue to combat the government in both houses.

He pointed out that the government did not have a majority in the upper house and would face troubles in the Lok Sabha - where the Left has 59 MPs - when it came to the passage of financial bills.

“We would like to use (such occasions) effectively to combat the government,” he said.

The Communist leader, accused of miscalculation when the Left withdrew support, said trusting the Congress leadership had been a mistake.

“It seems it was a mistake,” he said replying to a question on whether he had overestimated the trustworthiness of the Congress party.

According to Karat, the government had given the Left an assurance that it would not go ahead with the India-US civil nuclear deal - even if it had been allowed to carry forward the negotiations with the India specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“The assurance was given at a meeting which was attended by the prime minister, (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi and (External Affairs Minister) Pranab Mukherjee,” Karat told the channel.

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