Exuding confidence that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) would form a “stable and secular” government at the Centre, senior Congress leader and Defence Minister A.K. Antony has said his party is prepared to accept support from the CPI(M) if it is sincere in its stand to keep the BJP at bay.

“The Congress will not have any hesitation in soliciting support of all secular-minded parties, including the CPI(M), after the Lok Sabha elections to ensure that the BJP is kept out of power,” Mr. Antony told reporters here on Sunday.

The BJP, which was facing intraparty rebellion, was not a major political force in 14 States and the Congress had better prospects to retain power with the help of secular parties, he said.

Mr. Antony, who kick started his election campaign in the State from this northernmost Lok Sabha constituency, said there was no need for Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to resign in the wake of the Kerala High Court making some observations against the functioning of the CM’s Office while ordering a CBI probe into two land-grab cases involving Mr. Chandy’s personal staff.

He said the CPI(M), which had been clamouring for Mr. Chandy’s resignation in the wake of the court observations, was in fact adopting double standard in the RMP leader T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case.

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