No general elections in near future: Pranab

March 8th, 2008 - 9:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Amid speculation after a populist budget that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government will go for snap polls, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said he does not foresee early general elections. In an interview to private television channel NDTV, Mukherjee said no one in the government wanted an early election.

A section in the ruling Congress party has been eager for an early election to take advantage of the debt waiver for farmers announced in the 2008-09 budget. However, there is also a significant section that does not want elections before the Lok Sabha ends its tenure in 2009.

Some of the Congress’s allies in the UPA have also been reluctant to go to polls, Mukherjee admitted in his television interview.

The foreign minister also indicated that there was continuing uncertainty on whether the government would go ahead with the India-US nuclear deal, despite US officials indicating a May deadline to push through the draft bilateral agreement through the House of Representatives and Senate.

Mukherjee said India had conveyed to the US that India could not work within specific deadlines.

Reiterating the Left parties’ opposition to the deal, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said Saturday they were opposed to the nuclear deal as it was not in national interest.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader A.K. Bardhan had Friday threatened that if the UPA government went ahead with the deal his party would withdraw its support.

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