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Updated: June 12, 2012 01:23 IST

Our backing for Congress nominee not a given: SP, CPI(M)

Gargi Parsai
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CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

Even as the Congress leadership continued further consultations on the selection of a Presidential candidate, the Samajwadi Party — the United Progressive Alliance's supporting partner — and the opposition Communist Party of India (Marxist) sought to make it clear that their backing for the Congress nominee should not be taken for granted.

Emphasising that the SP was with the UPA only to “keep communal forces at bay,” party president Mulayam Singh, whose support would be crucial, reiterated that his party would favour a political candidate for the top post, not a bureaucrat.

Refusing to comment on the possibility of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as a UPA candidate, he said the Presidential elections had not been declared yet and there were no names before his party.

“We will decide on whom to support after considering the merits and demerits of the candidate,” he said at a press conference here.

The socialist leader, who had recently dined with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the completion of UPA's three years in power, said his party was a separate entity and not a “follower” of any party or coalition. “We will take our own decision when the time comes.”

Mr. Mulayam Singh declined to divulge the details of his meeting with Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee last month and stressed that no party had contacted them on the issue.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat too made it clear that his party was not bound to support the ruling coalition's Presidential candidate: “We are not bound. We are not part of the alliance of the Congress and the UPA that we have to support anybody they propose.”

He said the Left parties would consult other non-Congress secular parties once the UPA announced its choice.

“The situation was different last time when we backed the UPA's choice of Pratibha Patil, because then we were supporting the government from the outside,” he said in reply to a question.

On Sunday, the central committee authorised the Polit Bureau to formulate the party's strategy on Presidential elections after consultations with other Left and like-minded non-Congress secular parties.

In Mumbai, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule said her party would stand by the UPA in its choice.

The dilemma over the selection of a candidate continues with parties remaining divided over the choice of a suitable nominee. After the Congress Working Committee authorised Sonia Gandhi to decide on a candidate, there has been an effort to reach out to allies with Mr. Mukherjee emerging as a frontrunner for the coveted post.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance also maintains that they are awaiting the announcement of the UPA's official candidate before deciding their strategy on the Presidential election.

Meanwhile, the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Biju Janata Dal have declared their support for the former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader, P.A. Sangma, a tribal from Meghalaya.

Asked about AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's appeal to him to back Mr. Sangma, Mr. Mulayam Singh said “this is not the appropriate time.”

President Pratibha Patil's term ends in the fourth week of July.

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Reinstate all the expelled members unconditonally and debate the isuues to resolve it.This expulsion will have a greater impact on the future of SFI and CPIM.

Posted on: Jul 12, 2012 at 12:55 IST

There are signs that CPM, desperate to reverse its declining
fortunes,has started warming up to UPA.Notwithstanding its 'proclaimed'
opposition to the economic policies of UPA,CPM has a propensity to go
closer to power centers.Further they face problems in Kerala over the
political murders issue.Mamta's relationship with congress is not
good.By going closer to Congress,CPM aims to push Mamta out of UPA and
isolate her.The party is silent towards the UPA scams.It has murdered
all its ideologies.The toil and sacrifice of stalwarts like Comrades
EMS,AKG,Ramamurthy etc have gone in vain.

from:  S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 14:39 IST

It looks as though the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is the
latest to embrace rampant infighting and factionalism, once the
preserve of national parties like the Congress and BJP, in the wake of
discontent over the CPI(M)’s backing for the “neo-liberal”
presidential candidate, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. No party, including the
CPI(M), is free from sick governance, morally and mentally and group
fighting for personal benefits at its top hierarchy. And we the
people, who elected representatives of different political parties,
ultimately pay the price for all their misdeeds.The dissolution of the
JNU unit of the Students Federation of India is a terrible blow to
freedom of expression and makes a mockery of the democratic way of

from:  Albert Devakaram
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 12:08 IST

I think the SFI national leadership and the SFI organisation of JNU should step back
and resolve their differences over what is a trivial matter. What does it matter who
the President of India is? Does it affect the working masses? I think not. Left unity
should not be split over Pranab Mukherjee.

from:  Deepak Raote
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 11:50 IST

Besides causing rift in left Unity, CPM record on Civil Nuclear deal
has not been very good. In fact, CPM failure to pursue the anti
imperialist line stands out in glaring contrast with the Venezuelan
experiment. In 2007 CPM helped to propose the name of Pranab
Mukherjee as the UPA consensus candidate for the office of The
President forgetting that he was the chief architect for the military
cooperation agreement with the United States. This created a big
credibility gap about its sincere commitment to anti imperialist
course. CPM is not known to have taken up cudgel in the public against
Pranab Da’s Speech at Carnegie Foundation a couple of years back where
he had talked about, “Total convergence” of values and interests
between the US and India. He again harped on the same theme in his
address at the Defence Staff College in New Delhi. While speaking in
New York before the Council for foreign relations, he again mentioned,
“deepening convergence of values and interests”.

from:  Dr S Deman
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 11:40 IST

This is a very biased report. This report does not provide any facts on
why the SFI unit was dissolved. The reporter has not managed to even
read the press note on the Delhi SFI unit in this regard. On the other
hand, it has detailed quotes from the expelled persons. Very bad way of reporting....

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 11:39 IST

Perhaps Mr. Pranab Mukherjee is being made the President because as the
Union Finance Minister, he is considered by the influential corporate
bosses and policymakers to be not sufficiently neo-liberal. So it's a
bit ironic that Mr. Mukherjee is being opposed by some sections for
being neo-liberal!

from:  ARK
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 08:37 IST

"The iconic JNU unit of the Students Federation of India..". Iconic for whom, The Hindu's reporters?

from:  ashok
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 06:29 IST

It is a shame how political parties have infiltrated colleges and universities all over the country. Educational institutes should be places where students can explore and debate new ideas. Instead, political parties bring a closed mindset that expects members to fall in line with political expediency. Parties like CPM with blind allegiance to outdated ideologies further contribute to the closing the youthful mind.

from:  Gopal Vaidya
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 03:30 IST

A probable news after the next General Election. " The commission appointed by the Central committee found that the decision to back UPA candidate in the President Election was a mistake. It is the main cause of the set back suffered by the party in the Parliament Election as they shared the people's ire along with UPA due to that decision."

from:  Rajesh P R
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 03:24 IST

The SP and the CPI(M) stating that their support for the Congress nominee for the post of not a given is to say the least laughable.Actually it was a given that they would come out with such a statement and IT IS A GIVEN that at the crucial time their support will be given.Why don't they all cut these theatrics?The people know them for what they are.

from:  Raj Kumar
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 04:25 IST

Sponsoring a candidate for the Presidential race establishes credentials, hitherto silent, socialistic,democratic,secular political planck in India.The stock of the two major parties:The Congress and The BJP is at its lowest abyss.They alone are responsible for pursuing corporates friendly fictitious pro-poor economic agenda.Both follow a course of corrupt governance,bickerings for personal gains among party's top echelons.The 'free market order' which is mantra for economic growth for both has failed.In fact its failure in the West is termed by Naomi Klein (Shock Doctrine author) as economic 'holocaust'. The ground reality in India with spiralling hike in essential commodities unaffordable for 77% of its people;whereas 10% squandering national wealth stashed abroad in banks,50%GDP as black money;'free market' is economic 'cannibalism'.Crisis generates determined leadership while others are condemned to history.This moment is knocking the gate of secular,socio-economic just Forces.

from:  Prof A N Malviya
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 20:00 IST

They make the public keep guessing till lst minute so that they will attract media attention. when did they take decision in advance, On withdrawing support to Cnngress on the Nulcear bill issue, they dragged on and on, to be in the limelight,. they are famous for keeping the masses guessing leading to uncertainity. Stock market, and business never like uncertain condition as we know. CPI-M support or no support does not matter to anyone. Congress will win handsome without CPI-M support. rest assured.

from:  Bala
Posted on: Jun 11, 2012 at 17:54 IST
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