Senior Congress leader and Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi on Saturday said he favoured the Congress holding dialogue with Left parties in the run-up to the Parliament elections.

Participating in a meet-the-press programme here, Mr. Ravi said the parties never had serious differences with regard to policies.

“The Congress and the Left should work together,” he said.

The Congress had not started dialogues with other political parties in this regard so far. But the party would move a roadmap for roping in the maximum number of friends, he said.

Dismissing chances of a midterm election, the Union Minister said in spite of the withdrawal of long-term ally DMK from the government, there was no impediment to the functioning of the government.

He took a serious view of the CBI raid on the house of M.K. Stalin, close on the heels of the withdrawal of support by the DMK. “It should not have happened. Officials who ordered the raid should have considered the political repercussions of their action,” he said and maintained that no one in New Delhi had prior knowledge about the raid.

Referring to the controversies over the statements by government Chief Whip P.C. George, Mr. Ravi said it was an unfortunate incident.

“In spite of the political differences, mutual respect is the character of good politics. People such as K.R. Gowri and T.V. Thomas command respect from the people of Kerala irrespective of political hues and Kerala society cannot accept offensive language against them,” he said.

Reacting to a question, the Congress leader said party whip was legally binding. And breaching it would invite disciplinary action under the anti-defection law.

When asked about the response of the Congress leadership to Mr. George’s statements, Mr. Ravi said if he were in charge here, “they would have hesitated to make such comments”.

The senior Congress leader said controversies have affected the image of the UDF.

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