M A I N   N E W S

PM ready to break bread with Left
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 15
With poll pundits predicting a hung Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has indicated that he was ready to do business again with the Left parties for the formation of a secular government. The Left had withdrawn support to the UPA government in July last year after the ruling coalition decided to go ahead with the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal.

Addressing members of the Editors Guild of India here, Singh said an alliance with the Left parties was possible only after the elections. “Circumstances will decide if we go with the Left,” he said. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other UPA allies have also given broad hints in recent days that they would be able to persuade the Left parties to support a secular government, should the need arise, to keep communal forces at bay.

Regretting parting company with the Left, the PM noted with appreciation the support the Left parties provided to his government for more than four years though they were not part of it. He took a dig at regional parties, saying they could be an obstacle to the nation’s growth. What the country needed at this crucial juncture was a party in power which had a “national perspective”.

Justifying his recent remarks against BJP prime ministerial candidate L K Advani, the PM said they were well-considered and true. “Any serious political observer knows my remarks on Advani are true. I owe it to myself and the people of India to show where the shoe pinches. Enough is enough.” He said, if voted to power, he said his party would strive for 9-10 per cent economic growth.

PTI adds: Asked about his experience with the dual power system in which he was the Prime Minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the UPA chairperson, Singh said it was satisfying.

“The Prime Minister under this could concentrate on managing successfully the problems of the country, while she was handling the political problems. This division of labour was conducive and had led to greater efficiency to the advantage of the people,” he said.

Asked about his statement that Rahul Gandhi had all the qualifications to become the Prime Minister, Singh said, "In my view he has all the qualities to become the Prime Minister. I stand by it.

To a question why the allies have left the Congress and fighting the elections against it if the UPA was a success, the PM said the Congress was working towards building its base in UP, Bihar and other states where it was week.

"As far as regional parties are concerned, the emergence of regional parties is a fact of life and we will have to show sufficient flexibility in dealing with them. New norms should be evolved to ensure incorporation of regional parties in governance so that there is no harmful effects," he 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 |