M A I N   N E W S

Left not to back no-trust move against UPA govt
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13
As the Left ruled out supporting any no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha against the Congress-led UPA government, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said there was no threat to the coalition at the Centre either from the Left or the Right.

He acknowledged after the UPA-Left Coordination Committee meeting here today that there were some differences but these would be sorted out through discussions. “The government and the Left will move forward and evolve a consensus,” he said.

He said the Left parties had emphasised that they were not contemplating either moving or joining anything resembling a no-confidence motion in Parliament.

Mr Chidambaram said if the Left sought a discussion on Iran, the government would respond and take the opportunity to make its stand clear. “There were disagreements between the two sides on several matters, but we would make efforts to resolve these,” he added.

He said Indo-US relations and the bilateral agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy figured at the meeting and the government responded by shedding light on the “stepwise” action taken by it.

The Left parties emphasised that they would raise the Iran issue in Parliament as it was one of their major concerns.

This assumes significance as the Samajwadi Party and the Left have reached an “understanding” on the Iran issue and certain other matters.

The Left’s other policy differences revolved around foreign direct investment in telecom and print media, power sector reforms, reconstruction of public sector undertakings, the Patent Act and the Employment Guarantee Act.

Mr Chidambaram said the Left had told them that they wanted a full discussion in Parliament on India’s stand on Iran. “The government will explain its position on Iran when the discussion comes up,” he added.

Emerging after the meeting, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said the Left parties conveyed their resentment over the way the Manmohan Singh government was functioning and its policies, including that on Iran.

“We will see what to do after March 6 when the vote at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board is scheduled,” Mr Karat said.

He dismissed suggestions that the Left contemplated moving or supporting a no-confidence motion against the UPA government. “I don’t think that a motion of no-confidence is on the agenda,” he said.

He also spoke of having met the SP chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav two days ago and explained that he (Mr Yadav) had not told him anything about moving such a motion.

Mr Chidambaram said the UPA and the Left shared the larger concern for the country’s development, commitment to secularism and growth and social justice. “We are determined to run the government for the full term of five years,” the Finance Minister added.


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