Staff Reporter

Says Left support for UPA Government should not be taken for granted

THRISSUR: Communist Party of India (CPI) secretary D. Raja said here on Thursday that the Left parties' support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre should not be taken for granted.

Participating in a `Meet-the-Press' programme at Thrissur Press Club, the CPI leader said the survival of the UPA Government would depend on its adherence to the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) approved by the leadership of the UPA and the Left.

Asked about the reported statement of Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram that in the current political scenario, no secular party can take any action that would bring down the UPA Government, Mr. Raja said that Mr. Chidambaram should know that the onus of ensuring the survival of the UPA Government rested with Congress leaders also. "Mr. Chidambaram may be secular, but that does not mean that he is pro-poor," he said.

The CPI leader said the Left parties had extended support to the Congress-led UPA to achieve the twin purpose of keeping communal forces out of power and implementing pro-poor economic policies. The CMP was drafted with these perspectives.

However, the Congress now appears to be drifting away from the CMP and unilaterally trying to implement its own agenda, even though it talks about consensus. The Left would not tolerate this and will redefine its relations with the UPA after the Assembly polls, Mr. Raja said.

He said it was wrong to say that the Left was against development. "The Left is as modern as any party could be and it is for development. But, the Left stands for a development perspective that is inclusive."

Our Special Correspondent writes from Thiruvananthapuram

CPI general secretary A. B. Bardhan has exuded confidence that the people would vote overwhelmingly in favour of the LDF in Kerala to strengthen it to intervene decisively in the policies and decisions of the UPA Government at the Centre.

Participating in a `meet-the-press' programme organised by the Kesari Memorial Journalists' Trust here on Thursday, Mr. Bardhan said victory in Kerala and West Bengal would increase the clout of the Left at the national level.

The experience of the last five years has taught the people the need to remove the UDF Government and to go in for an LDF Government that would look at the development of the State from a wholly different perspective, he added.