M A I N   N E W S

Sonia rules out early polls, sure of UPA-III
Ashok Tuteja
tribune news service

New Delhi, August 24
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday ruled out early Lok Sabha polls and said she was confident of a UPA government being formed after the 2014 elections.

Sonia was surrounded by the media immediately after the inauguration of the National Media Centre, which was also attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Asked the obvious question by clamouring journalists about the fate of the UPA government and whether UPA-III (United Progressive Alliance-III) will be a reality, she said: "Yes, of course, 100 per cent."

To a question about the possibility of early General Elections, she said: “Our aim is to go till the end (of the government's tenure).” The term of the UPA-II government will end in May next year.

Expressing confidence in the UPA’s return to power after the next polls, she said the ruling alliance’s USP were the rights given to the people. "Certainly. 100 per cent... obviously, so many rights we have given. It is our Right to Information, Right to Education and now Right to Food that is our USP," she said.

This almost scotches speculation that the UPA government could advance the polls by a few months after the passage of historic legislations like the Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill.

She hoped the Food Security Bill would be passed next week. On whether the BJP would cooperate in its passage, she shot back, “How can I say?” (With agency inputs)

Election mode

* There has been talk of Lok Sabha polls, due next year in April-May, being combined with the Assembly elections in some states later this year in November

* More so, the BJP has been asking the government to seek an immediate mandate in the wake of a looming economic crisis





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