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Explain stand on electoral tactics, CPI tells Jayalalithaa

Special Correspondent
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Left to decide on electoral adjustments only at time of polls

The CPI on Saturday asked AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa to explain her stand “clearly on electoral tactics,” in the wake of her offer of support to the Congress-led UPA government if it dropped A. Raja from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

“We don't think that she made the overtures keeping in mind electoral tactics. Anyway let her clearly state her stand,” CPI national secretary D. Raja told reporters here.

Making it clear that the Left parties will decide on electoral adjustments only at the time of elections, he said the AIADMK was working with Left parties to highlight issues concerning the people. “Corruption is one such issue. We are together demanding a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.”

Mr. Raja sought to downplay Ms. Jayalalithaa's offer of support to the Congress recalling statements by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Finance Minister Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee confirming the continuation of their alliance with the DMK.

The CPI leader said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, irrespective of his response to the Supreme Court, had the responsibility of explaining his position on the spectrum issue because Mr. Raja, who had quit as Minister, had been saying that the Prime Minister had full knowledge about all decisions.

Asked about the views of some leaders that Mr. Raja was targeted because he was a Dalit, he said it was unacceptable to give a casteist twist to one of the biggest scams the country had witnessed.

Stating that the Opposition was in no way responsible for the disruption of Parliament proceedings, he said it was Mr. Pranab Mukherjee who had promised to get back to the Opposition after consulting the Prime Minister. “He is yet to explain the Prime Minister's stand.”

Asked about ordering a probe into similar allocations in the past, he said: “We don't mind. But, let the government spell out its plan first.”

Mr. Raja argued that a JPC probe alone could bring out the truth behind the nexus between politicians, officials and corporate houses. He recalled how a JPC probe into the stock market scam had led to emergence of many concrete suggestions and amendments.

He wanted India to pressure the Sri Lankan government to find a political solution to the problems of Sri Lankan Tamils when External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna visits the country.

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