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Left-govt rift may widen
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
The rift between the Left parties and the Congress-led UPA government can widen further, with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) planning to reconsider its nature of relationship with the government.

The CPM’s Politburo is meeting here in the Capital from tomorrow for two days followed by a three-day meeting of the Central Committee, where the party’s future strategy will be formulated.

Politburo member Sitaram Yechury had earlier indicated that the UPA government could not take the support for granted and had stated that “we will not be responsible for the fall of the government.”

He had stated that “when we bite, we bite very strongly and that is something, I hope this government does not want to learn the hard way.”

His remarks sparked off speculations about the stability of the Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

Now, with the Politburo and the Central Committee meeting in the Capital with `future relationship of the party with the government’ as one of the major issues in the agenda, it is quite clear that the remarks were not off the cuff.

“As the UPA government has taken several steps which are contrary to the common minimum programme (CMP), the Politburo meeting will discuss the future relationship with the government and formulate a strategy to deal with it,” party sources told The Tribune.

Although the party was unlikely to withdraw support to the government, the sources indicated that the UPA government could not expect unconditional support from the CPM as the party would raise issues of concern which were contrary to the CMP.

The Left parties and the UPA government have been on the collision course especially on the hike in the FDI investments in the telecom, civil aviation and insurance sectors.

While the UPA government managed to hike the FDI in telecom and civil aviation through a Cabinet nod, it will have to bring in an IRDA amendment Bill in Parliament, which the Left parties have vowed to oppose.

The Left parties have been demanding a coordination council for redressing differences between the supporting parties and the government.

The CPM leaders alleged that the UPA government had not paid much heed to their request and seemed to have taken their support for granted.

Political observers pointed out that the Left parties had to maintain their love-hate relationship with the UPA government in order to protect their own base in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura.

They said the Left parties would not like to vacate the space of Opposition completely to the BJP nor would they like to take any hasty step which would result in the return of the NDA at the Centre.

At the same time, they would like to maintain their anti-Congress stance, as the party had won most of the seats in its bastion defeating Congress candidates.

Apart from discussing the strategy to be adopted to deal with the government, the meeting would also review the party performance in the General Election, measures to strengthen the organisation and the forthcoming poll in Maharashtra.
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