M A I N   N E W S

Ajit Singh leaves Bardhan guessing
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 17
Pulling out all stops in their attempt to bring down the UPA regime, the Left parties today intensified their campaign to woo fence-sitters on the trust vote in the Lok Sabha and declared that they did not mind voting along with the BJP in the trial of strength if the Manmohan Singh government could be dislodged.

Four days after CPM boss Prakash Karat met BSP leader Mayawati to enlist her support for the Left’s cause, CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan reached out to Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Ajit Singh to explore the possibility of a tie-up for the floor test, but failed to elicit any assurance from him on the issue. The RLD remained non-committal on supporting the Left.

Incidentally, the meeting came just when the Union Cabinet was deciding to name the Lucknow airport after Chaudhary Charan Singh, country’s seventh Prime Minister and father of Ajit Singh, in a bid to woo the RLD on the government’s side.

Talking to reporters after his 30-minue meeting with Ajit Singh, Bardhan lavished praise on late Charan Singh and recalled his contribution in improving the lot of the farmers. However, all his hopes of bringing Ajit Singh on board were dashed when the RLD chief stated that his party had so far not taken any decision on voting.

Asked why he was taking time to decide the party line on the trust vote, Ajit Singh said there was nothing wrong in taking a decision a little late, adding that Bardhan had presented some new facts.

On the Indo-US nuclear deal, Ajit Singh said: “I am against the nuclear energy but I never said that I am opposed to the deal. Bardhan has provided some new facts... Let us discuss (before taking a decision).”

He indicated that nothing much should be read in the government’s decision to name Amausi airport after his father but called it a “welcome step taken quite late”.

That the Left parties were keen to take the battle to the enemy camp was quite evident as the CPM, in a statement, lashed out at the government over reports that some of the Lok Sabha members, who had been convicted of serious crimes and were in jails, were being mobilised to support the confidence vote. The party identified these MPs as Rajiv Ranjan, alias Pappu Yadav, Mohammed Shahabuddin and Suraj Bhan. The CPM had ostensibly forgotten that it had not raised any such objection when these MPs were allowed to cast votes in the presidential election in July last year.

In the face of sharp attacks from its own ranks over its decision to vote against the UPA along with the BJP during the trial of strength, the CPM, in an editorial in the forthcoming issue of party mouthpiece “People’s Democracy”, said it could not abandon its objective of preventing India from becoming a subordinate of the US just because the saffron party was opposed to the government.

The party said the BJP was opposing the government in the July 22 confidence vote for enforcing early elections, which might give the saffron outfit electoral benefits, but it could not be a reason for the Left to reconsider its stand.

“As a passenger in a train, one cannot determine or choose who the other co-passengers are. However, because of the co-passengers, one cannot abandon the objective of reaching one’s destination. The Left is clear. It shall work to achieve its objective of upholding our national interests and preventing India from becoming a subordinate ally of the US imperialism,” the party mouthpiece said.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |