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Updated: April 2, 2014 11:57 IST

Idea of an alternative front not feasible: Antony

Staff Reporter
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Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony addressing the media in Kozhikode on Tuesday. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup
The Hindu Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony addressing the media in Kozhikode on Tuesday. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

'Modi’s allegations on Congress manifesto baseless’

Union Minister for Defence A.K. Antony has said that no single political party will get an absolute majority in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a meet-the-press programme “Dilli Chalo,” organised by the Calicut Press Club here on Tuesday, Mr. Antony said the Congress had failed to get an absolute majority in the 2004 and in the 2009 general polls. But still the party came to power with the support of various other parties. On both these occasions these parties had fought against the Congress but later supported the party after the elections.

“We may have not got allies now. But post-poll it will be different. Local leaders are working out modalities for alliances in Telangana. Our efforts for seat adjustments with parties in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal did not fructify,” Mr. Antony said.

A non-BJP government could not be formed without the Congress party. If any secular party wanted to stop the BJP from coming to power it would have to recognise and support the Congress, he said.

The Congress with its pan-India appeal was the only viable option. Even the presence of the biggest opposition party, the BJP, was confined to just 14 States.

‘CPI(M) weakened’

Mr. Antony said the doors were open for Left parties to support a Congress-led United Progressive Alliance. After its historic blunder, the CPI(M) had weakened to the core. That party had been shabbily treated when it took the initiative to form an alternative front. The Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Telegu Desam Party, and the Biju Janata Dal had snubbed the party.

The CPI(M) leadership was living in a dream world. The idea of an alternative front was not feasible and would not work, the Congress leader said. Replying to questions on the allegations raised by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the Congress manifesto, Mr. Antony said those charges were baseless. By spreading such lies Mr. Modi himself revealed that he was unfit to be Prime Minister.

The Congress manifesto focused on giving priority to youth and students. A separate ministry for fisheries had been envisaged, Mr. Antony said.

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