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“Manmohan’s remark unfortunate”

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Prakash Karat
Prakash Karat

Staff Reporter

Prakash Karat urges DMK to clarify stand on Singh’s statement on regional parties

PUDUCHERRY: General secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Prakash Karat has criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his statement that regional parties do not have any national vision and are an obstruction to the nation’s progress.

It was “extremely unfortunate” that the Prime Minister made such a remark after sharing power with regional parties for the last five years, Mr. Karat said at a campaign meeting held here on Tuesday.

He was seeking support for Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) candidate M. Ramadass.

Dr. Singh, who headed a coalition government with the support of regional parties, should understand that these parties represent aspirations of local people, Mr. Karat said.

The regional parties, particularly the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, should make their stand clear on the remarks made by the Prime Minister, he added.

Mr. Karat said that a party delegation had given concrete evidence to the Election Commission on distribution of cash for voters, particularly in the Madurai parliamentary constituency. “We are sure that the politically-conscious people of Tamil Nadu will not be lured by money,” Mr. Karat said.

Complimenting All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa on her consistent stand of opposing the India-U.S. civilian nuclear deal, he said that most of the parties in the Third Front had identical views on several issues.

The PMK was the first party outside the Left to express reservation about allowing Wal Mart to enter Indian retail industry when the CPI(M) asked the support of political parties.

Saying that the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party shared similar views on foreign and economic policies, he said that the two had now turned their ire against the Third Front from fear of losing the election.

Mr. Karat said that the United Progressive Alliance had become “non-existent” as parties such as the Nationalist Congress Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Lok Jan Shakti Party in Bihar had gone in their own ways.


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