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Congress unsparing in criticising former allies
PM, Sonia target Lalu, Left

Jamui, April 11
Addressing her first election rally in Bihar, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today attacked erstwhile ally , Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal ( RJD), and reminded people of RJD’s poor record of governance in the state. “ The less said the better about those dark days,” she declared in an unusually hard-hitting speech.

Referring to the Third Front led by the Left Front and the Fourth Front comprising Lalu Prasad, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan, she said it had become fashionable to launch fronts. “ God knows how many more fronts would come into existence to oppose Congress,” she exclaimed.

“Jitney morcha, utney neta, aur jitney neta, utney pradhan mantri”, she declared and cautioned people against selfish politicians who are out to grab power. “ Serving people is certainly not their motto,” she added.

Referring to the regional leaders, the Congress president said that while they had no problem sharing power with the Congress, they also felt no inhibition in criticizing the Congress at the same time.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chose an electoral rally at Kochi to criticise the Left Front. The Left parties, he said, have often been on the “wrong side of history” by refusing to participate in the Quit India movement, the Green Revolution, the IT Revolution and by their failure to support the nuclear deal with the United States.

The Left parties, he said, opposed the Green Revolution saying that it was meant only to benefit foreign seed companies. Similarly, when Rajiv Gandhi initiated a ‘communication revolution’ in the country, the Prime Minister said, they opposed it saying it would take away jobs.

The nuclear deal with the US, he said, was meant to end the country’s nuclear isolation and to provide energy security. But the Left parties opposed it and walked out of the ruling coalition, he reminded the audience. “ Time will prove the wisdom of our decision”.

Asking the people to choose between stability offered by the Congress and the coalition of parties which have come together, glued only by their lust for power. Launching a scathing attack on the Left Front in Kerala, the Prime Minister alleged that ‘restrictive’ and ‘unfriendly’ policies of the state government had obstructed development in the state.

Advani targets PM again

New Delhi: The day after the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh questioned his record as Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani reiterated his charge that Manmohan Singh is a weak Prime Minister. In an interview to a TV channel, the BJP leader said, “You have a situation in which the PM holds office but has no authority, while the person who wields the authority has no accountability,” in an oblique reference to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. 

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Left often on wrong side of history: PM

Kochi/New Delhi, April 11
Opening his election campaign in the Communist bastion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused the Left and the Third Front of weakening secular forces and helping in the installation of a communal government led by the BJP. He also said the Communists were often on the "wrong side" of history.

"The Left Front or the so-called Third Front can never by themselves form a government at the Centre. They can only divide the secular votes. Thereby, they can only strengthen the BJP," he said addressing an election meeting at the nearby Veli grounds in Pallurthy, the first after his recovery from the recent heart bypass surgery.

Singh said the people of Kerala, a state known for its communal amity and harmony, should ponder if they approve of the role of the Left Front in weakening the secular forces at the Centre and install a communal government led by the BJP.

Singh asked the people to choose between the stability of the Congress and the coalition of parties which have come together only by the "glue of government" in which there will be a continuous struggle for power.

Needling the Communists, he said, "The Left that rules the state has unfortunately often been on the wrong side of history. When Mahatma Gandhi started the Quit India movement, the Left did not participate in it. When India became Independent, they said this independence was not for real," he said.

Left hits back

The Left parties today hit back at the PM over his charge that the Third Front was helping the BJP in the Lok Sabha poll, saying the Congress had instead failed to check the saffron forces.

The CPI also said that the PM's statement that he would have quit if he had failed to get the Indo-US nuclear deal passed, showed that he had made it his "personal agenda" and had "pressurised" the Congress and the allies.

On Singh's charge, CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat told PTI that "it is not the Congress, but the non-Congress, non-BJP alternative which has effectively put paid to the chances of the BJP coming to power at the Centre. It is only this alternative which has isolated the BJP." Karat, who is campaigning in Karnataka, said: "The BJP cannot even make its mark in states like Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh where its traditional allies have joined the Third Front as the secular alternative is emerging stronger with more UPA allies falling in line."

"Therefore, it is an illusion that the formation of the Third Front would automatically help the BJP come back to power," he said.

CPI National Secretary D Raja said the Prime Minister’s remarks against the Third Front showed that the Congress and BJP were getting “jittery” over the emergence of the non-BJP, non-Congress alliance as a viable alternative.

He wanted the Prime Minister to realise that India is not a bipolar polity and therefore it was obvious that such alliances would emerge. “The Prime Minister-in-waiting LK Advani’s attack on the emerging alliance also reflected the saffron desperation”.

Asked about the Prime Minister’s statement that the Left has always been on the “wrong side” of history, Raja said “for four and a half years he was taking the Left support. Did he not realise it then? At that time it was okay.

“It is the Left which has been the driving force in history. History is always on the side of the Left. It was only Manmohan Singh’s policies which have been responsible for the growing poverty, job losses and a badly hit economy,” he said. — PTI 

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