UPA can form next government with Left backing: Pranab (Lead)

April 5th, 2009 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee Sunday did not rule out the possibility of the party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) forming the next government with the Left parties’ support and said “everything is possible”.
“I am not an astrologer, I cannot predict what is going to happen. In the realm of politics everything is possible,” Mukherjee told reporters here in response to questions about the possibility of the Congress’ ties with the Left.

The external affairs said the Congress did not have any pre-poll truck with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in the past but added it had a tie-up with small Left parties in some previous elections.

Asked if he agrees with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani’s comment that the idea of a Third Front government is a farcical illusion, Mukherjee said: “My conviction is that having a limited number of seats and very little presence at the national level and being unable to project a prime ministerial candidate, they don’t have national impact.”

He added: “They are like six characters in a play in search of one playwright.”

Mukherjee also described the media debate about the “disintegration” of the UPA as needless.

“Unnecessarily there has been a debate about the disintegration of the UPA and about the consolidation of National Democratic Alliance (NDA). UPA is not a political party. It is very much intact and it is not disintegrating.”

Though admitting differences with allies like the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) over the issue of seat-sharing, Mukherjee pointed out that the leaders of these parties have stated that they would be part of the UPA.

“Therefore, it (UPA) is not disintegrating,” he said.

Mukherjee said the BJP lifted the contents from the Congress manifesto and included them in its manifesto.

“I was amused to note that apart from the section that they have called ‘defending the civilisation’ through commitment to Ram Mandir, Ram Setu, cleaning of the Ganges, cow protection and article 370, the rest of the contents of the (BJP) manifesto have been lifted from the Congress manifesto.

“In a weak imitation of the Congress commitment to aam aadmi (common man) and our declaration in the manifesto on food security, BJP is indulging in competitive populism by offering 35 kg of wheat and rice at Rs.2 per kg to all BPL (below poverty line) families,” he said.

Mukherjee also noted the BJP “suddenly starts making very lofty promises when election time comes and after the elections are over, all those promises are relegated to the dustbin.”

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