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2009 Poll Prospects And Alignments-2
Analysis: The options before the UPA

July 08, 2008

The die is finally cast. With the Left formally withdrawing support to the government, the first task before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] is to win a trust motion quickly.

The government would not like to go to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which it was planning to do on July 28, as a minority government, for that signals a very different message to member countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Parliament may be called sooner than later, and the two dates under consideration are July 20 or 22 and the cabinet is expected to finalise the timetable on Wednesday.

The challenge before the Congress is to get its arithmetic right and mount an operation that is foolproof, particularly after the way things were botched up in Srinagar [Images]. Things had seemed to be under control, and Ghulam [Images] Nabi Azad had assured Delhi that he had the numbers, but he had to quit as chief minister without facing the assembly.

On the face of it, the Congress has worked out its support lines to compensate the loss of the Left parties, and the prime minister has ruled out early elections. The Samajwadi Party has publicly announced its support to the UPA. With the UPA accounting for 225 members, and taking into account SP's 39 MPs, the numbers add up to 264. But if you add three of Rashtriya Lok Dal, three of the Janata Dal-Secular and three from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the UPA will be just over the hump with 273 votes. If it also gets five independents, which it claims it has the support of, and some 'others', then it is home and dry.

Of course, there are many 'ifs and buts' in this scenario. First, there have been reports that there are around 10 Samajwadi Party MPs, who have reservations about voting with the UPA on the nuke deal, are in a mood to defy the party whip -- though Mulayam Singh Yadav has declared that all the 39 SP MPs are behind him. Some are Muslims and others have a sizeable Muslim population in their constituencies. Eleven SP MPs reportedly did not attend the meeting called by Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday.

With disquiet in the SP MPs, and with elections not far off, they would have jumped to the Bahujan Samaj Party, were Mayawati to assure them of BSP tickets in the Lok Sabha polls. From all accounts, Mayawati is not thinking of employing this strategy, even though she is keeping a close watch on the situation.

She will play on Muslim fears, having stated that the deal is anti-Muslim, but she may not go the whole hog to bring down the government on the nuke deal, even as she votes against the UPA.

The political grapevine is abuzz with stories about the price the SP will extract for its support, like ten ministers in the government! Essentially, the SP is worried about the series of cases that have been slapped against its leaders, particularly the disproportionate wealth case against Mulayam Singh Yadav.

UNPA or no UNPA, Mulayam cannot think of becoming prime minister, if there is a CBI charge against him. How the prime minister will "manage" this for Mulayam remains to be seen.

The Congress' main headache is to keep the UPA flock together and to 'manage' the demands made by a host of small and big parties, each demanding their pound of flesh in return for their support at a critical moment like this.

While the Congress is banking on the TRS coming around, the regional party had delinked itself from the UPA and it may demand some assurance on Telangana to justify lending support. Ajit Singh will want a ministry of his choice.

Shibu Soren, whose Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has five members in the Lok Sabha, has been sulking at being denied a cabinet berth which was given to Rameshwar Oraon at the behest of Lalu Yadav.

The Congress is planning to fish in the NDA waters, and hoping for support of the Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal, or for these parties to abstain in the trust vote. Bal Thackeray had raised Congress hopes when he came out in favour of the nuke deal, but his son Uddhav ruled out support to the UPA, clarifying that his party would stick with the NDA.

The Akali Dal has also been silent on the nuke deal. Congress leaders hope they will back the prime minister, who is a Sikh, and because a large number of Sikhs in the US support the move. However, it is unlikely the Akali Dal will back the UPA and jeopardise their future politics in an election year.

The ally who could however be more promising for the Congress, and would help it make inroads into the NDA, is Mamta Banerjee, now that the Left has parted company with the Congress. Going with the Congress could have big dividends for her in West Bengal, though she too would have to worry about the Muslim factor.

Chronology of politics over N-deal
July 08, 2008 17:49 IST
Following is the chronology of politics over the Indo-US nuclear deal:

* July 18, 2005: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and US President George W Bush [Images] agree on a nuclear deal in Washington.
* March 2, 2006: India and the US sign the nuclear agreement during Bush's visit to New Delhi.
* March 11, 2006: Communist Party of India attacks government during a special discussion in Lok Sabha terming the accord as an 'unequal' treaty and one which would take India to the 'stable of US global strategy of containing China and Russia' [Images].
* July 28, 2006: The Left parties demand threadbare discussion on the issue in Parliament followed by a statement by either the Speaker or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
* November 16, 2006: US Senate passes the Indo-US nuclear deal.
* August 3, 2007: India, US unveil the 123 Agreement.
* August 13, 2007: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh makes a suo motu statement on the deal in Parliament
* August 17, 2007: Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat says that the 'honeymoon (with government) may be over but the marriage can go on'.
* September 4, 2008: UPA-Left committee to discuss nuclear deal set up.
* February 25, 2008: Left parties say the UPA would have to choose between the deal and its government's stability.
* March 3, 2008: Left parties warn of 'serious consequences' if the civilian nuclear deal with the US is operationalised.
* March 6, 2008 Left parties set a deadline asking the government to make it clear by March 15 whether it intended to proceed with the nuclear deal or drop it.
* March 7, 2008: CPI writes to the prime minister, warns of withdrawal of support if government goes ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal.
* March 8, 2008: The CPI-M says the government should drop the nuclear deal if the UPA-Left Committee does not approve it.
* March 14, 2008: CPI-M says the Left parties will not be responsible if the government falls over the nuclear deal.
* April 23, 2008: Government says it will seek the sense of the House on the 123 Agreement before it is taken up for ratification by the American Congress.
* June 17, 2008: Pranab Mukherjee meets Prakash Karat, asks the Left to allow the government to go ahead with IAEA safeguards agreement.
* June 30, 2008: Prime Minister says his government prepare to face Parliament before operationalising the deal.
* July 3, 2008: The Left parties decide to work out the timing and modalities of the pullout.
July 8, 2008: Left parties withdraw support to government.
<b>Left parties not averse to supporting Cong in future: Bardhan</b>

New Delhi (PTI): CPI on Thursday night said the Left parties will not be averse to supporting Congress in the bigger fight against communal forces in future but indicated that it would not support a government led by Manmohan Singh.

Party General Secretary A B Bardhan said there would be "occasions" in the future when the Left parties will have to fight against communal forces together with Congress and similar "secular" parties.

"He (Singh) will not always be the Prime Minister. I am talking about Congress as an institution. I am talking of secular parties. We will have to deal with them," Bardhan told CNN-IBN.

Bardhan was responding to a question as to whether the Left parties would support a government led by Manmohan Singh in the future.

"Life is long and future is distant. See what they have done to us. Our differences on price, inflation and nuclear deal all led to our position. But there will be occasions when we will have to fight against communalism together," he said.

This is all a drama. In the next election if NDA does not cross 272 mark then it is again UPA + Left.

The politics in India are polarised between BJP + Anti Congress parties or Congress + anti BJPites + Left.

The parties from states where there is neither BJP nor congress will gravitate towards whoever is in power.

This multi party system has become too rotten with lots of money, black mailing etc.
Congress leader M Veerappa Moily
'Deal or no deal, the Left would have withdrawn'</b>

July 11, 2008
M Veerappa Moily
Former Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily believes the India-US nuclear deal will help the nation.

"The deal will help farmers get more electricity and increase their output. Farmers in some places get power for just three hours a day," Moily told Onkar Singh at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi.

Explained: The nuclear deal
He was confident that despite the Left parties withdrawing support to the United Progressive Alliance government, the UPA would muster enough support to win the vote of confidence.

The Left is so upset with the prime minister's insistence on going ahead with the nuclear deal that they have withdrawn support...

Deal or no deal, the Left would have withdrawn support. We have been accused of not being able to carry the Left with us. The fact is that they have their own agenda and compulsions. In West Bengal, Kerala [Images] and Tripura, the Congress is their main opposition. They think going with the Congress would hamper their electoral prospects. It is this compulsion that has forced them to withdraw support, nothing else.
Why are you in a hurry to sign the deal?

India needs to generate power. Our farmers do not get even three hours of power a day. Unless they get power for 24 hours, they cannot prosper. Generation of more power can help us build necessary infrastructure to cater to the needs our people.
Little to fault in IAEA agreement

The Left's main charge is that the government was not willing to show the text of the agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The government has been holding meetings with the Left parties. Various aspects of the draft agreement were discussed at these meetings. Since the text was yet to be approved, we could not show the agreement. But almost everything related to it was discussed. They knew what it is.

The Left alleges the Congress is hiding facts...

Now the text of the agreement is available on the ministry of external affairs Web site. You can consult any expert on nuclear energy and find out if the deal is good or bad. Nothing was hidden from them and yet they kept on harping that the government was hiding facts.

Has External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee resigned as chairman of the UPA-Left coordination committee?

With the Left withdrawing support to the government, there is no such committee.

Why the Left, UPA broke up

Will Mr Somnath Chatterjee resign as Lok Sabha Speaker?

The Speaker's office has clarified that there is no question of him resigning from the post. We want him to be there.

Are you thinking of a post-poll alliance with the Left in order to stop the Bharatiya Janata Party from forming the next government?

There cannot be a pre-poll alliance. In a recent interview, Communist Party of India leader A B Bardhan said things could change if they needed to stop the BJP from coming to power. He said it is not a permanent rupture with the Congress. Our party thought that the deal is in the best interest of the country. If the Left parties realise that, then they may chose to come back to stop communal forces from coming to power.
What a lie, it will generate another 5% after 15 years, but India will lock its security for ever. It is nothing to do with Energy, we know what happened to Narora Nuclear plant, majority of time shut down and Congress idiots had built it on Ganga Banks in most fertile land just to get votes. Promise was made that consumer will 7 paisa only. It never happened only famers lost land and money wasted and polluted Ganga for ever.
<b>India Output Growth Slumps, S&P Says Rating May Be Cut to Junk </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->July 11 (Bloomberg) -- <b>India's industrial production grew at the slowest pace in more than six years and Standard & Poor's said it may cut the nation's credit rating to junk if the economy deteriorates further. </b>

Stocks fell after the government released figures showing industrial output gained 3.8 percent in May from a year earlier, almost half the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Bonds dropped after S&P said its BBB- ranking on India's long-term local currency debt may be lowered to ``speculative grade.''

<b>``A rating downgrade would be a blow to India</b>,'' said Ramya Suryanarayanan, an economist at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore. ``Heading in that direction isn't good as investors are already panicking about inflation, growth and fiscal prospects.''
Another proud moment for Moron Singh.
<b>Govt. to face trust vote in Lok Sabha on July 22</b>

<img src='http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/000200807111861.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, at the UPA meeting to finetune the party's strategy in New Delhi on Friday. A special session of Parliament is to be convened on July 21 and 22. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.

New Delhi (PTI): The four-year old UPA government will face its first trial of strength in the Lok Sabha on July 22 with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi asking coalition partners to "look ahead" after Left's exit while exuding confidence of securing majority.

A two-day special session of the Lok Sabha will be convened on July 21 to take up the vote of confidence and voting will take place the next day, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs decided on Friday.

The CCPA meeting came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met President Pratibha Patil and expressed his Government's readiness to seek a trust vote following Left parties with 59 members withdrawing support to it for going to the IAEA to take forward the Indo-US nuclear deal.

"I have no doubt that we shall prove our majority," Gandhi said in her opening remarks at a meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh explained the developments related to the nuclear deal.

As the numbers game intensified, top UPA leaders today held a strategy session here with Gandhi, expressing confidence of garnering numbers to prove their majority.

The meeting, which was attended by representatives of most of the UPA constituents, assessed the numbers that the ruling coalition has on its side after the departure of Left parties, whose dissociation was regretted by Gandhi.

Gandhi said before the Left parties withdrew their support, the Prime Minister had said that he would not operationalise the agreement without taking Parliament into confidence. "We stand by that pledge".

The UPA chairperson said that when the Prime Minister met the President Pratibha Patil on Thursday, he, in keeping with the highest traditions of democracy and the Constitution, handed over a letter stating that the Government wishes to seek a trust vote as early as possible.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Mukherjee said that "everybody" was prepared to face the confidence vote.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad said that all UPA constituents are united and exuded confidence that the Government will prove its majority on the floor of the House.

"If we lose the vote of confidence, then the deal will end. If we win, the deal will continue," he said.

Prasad said that the Left parties were not their enemies and that they would remain together in future.

Seeking to set at rest speculation over their stand, the Shiromani Akali Dal, which has eight MPs in Lok Sabha, today said it has decided in principle to vote against the UPA government during the floor test in the Lok Sabha.

"In principle, it has been decided by the party that it will vote against the UPA government in Parliament, but a final decision will be taken during a meeting of the party's political affairs committee on July 15," senior Akali leader and Punjab minister Kanwaljit Singh told reporters in Jalandhar.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There cannot be a pre-poll alliance. In a recent interview, Communist Party of India leader A B Bardhan said things could change if they needed to stop the BJP from coming to power. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
For these people there's never a pre-poll alliance. Before polls they go out against each other as if they are sworn enemies with ideologies diametrically opposite of the other. After polls as math plays out, all's forgotten and they come together - it'll be under a 'secular' banner to keep "communal" forces out.

I trust that this whole non-confidence thingamajig is pretty well co-ordinated. In Kannada there's a saying "<i>Nanu hodgange madute, nenu teerdange madu</i>" loosely translated - 'I'll pretend as if I'm hitting you and you pretend being hurt'.

If govt falls (which I don't believe it will), Cong goes to poll perceived as (a) victim of a tragic betrayal by an ally and (b) a principled party which gave up power in better interest of nation. It's a message pretty hard to beat - of course 123 deal will be on forefront which average joe doesn't get it or doesn't care. All past crimes of 50 plus months - mismanagement, poor governance, dwindingly economy, rising inflation and the vote-bank politics will be lost in the noise. The timing of this whole thing is pretty darned convenient as the LS term of UPA is almost over anyway. Didn't Manmohan offer to resign over a year ago on this issue?
Achuthanandan laughs off Kalam's views on N-issue</b>

Thiruvnanthapuram (PTI): Attacking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress over Indo-US nuclear deal, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Friday made light of former President A P J Abdul Kalam's support for the deal, saying Kalam was only one of the space scientists who send "rockets into the skies".

Addressing media shortly after the state assembly adopted a CPI-M member's resolution asking the Centre to give up the nuclear deal, he said at least a dozen top scientists of the country had said the deal would seriously harm the national interests.

Asked how he took Kalam's endorsement of the deal, he quipped "Kalam is a scientist who sends rockets to the skies just like Kasthuri Rangan or G.Madhavan Nair."

Asked what would be the position of the Lok Sabha Speaker Somanath Chatterjee when the trust vote is taken up in Parliament, he said "he (Chatterjee) has himself said about that".

When pressed more on the issue, he quipped "if he is not voting with us it would just mean that we are getting one vote less."

Achuthanandan dubbed as a "totally puerile" Congress propoganda that China had clinched a nuclear deal with the United States with more or less on similar conditions.

The deal China had entered into with America had provisions to wriggle out of it if that country felt that its sovereignty was in jeopardy.
In sharp contrast, the deal to which the Manmohan Singh government was taking India would turn the country into "a servile vassal' of the American imperialists and toll the death knell of its independent foreign policy and non-alignment principles", he alleged. </b>

Trinamool doesn't favour toppling UPA govt: Mamata

Kolkata, (PTI): The Trinamool Congress on Friday said it it did not favour toppling of the UPA government.

"We are not in favour of toppling the government", TC supremo Mamata Banerjee, the lone MP of her party, told reporters here.

Banerjee, however, said a final decision would be taken in this regard after discussing it in the party.

She said she would move a no-confidence motion against Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee if he did not quit his office.

When pointed out that she would require the support of other MPs to move a no-trust against the Speaker, Banerjee replied it would not be a problem.

"His (Chatterjee) party CPI-M has withdrawn support from the UPA government and submitted a list of its MPs to the President in which the Speaker's name also figures. He should have quit by now. Political ethics demands it. But he did not quit. This is unprecedented", she said.

The government said it would seek a trust vote and the Speaker should also seek a vote of confidence, she said.

If the BJP had been caught lying on issues that had an emotional power, people would have reconsidered voting for it. I know many loyalists who wondered if the BJP was still their party after LK Advani defended Jinnah. I know many liberal BJP supporters who declared that could not vote for the party after the Gujarat riots.

The trouble with the nuclear deal is that it has zero emotional power. Nobody cares enough to vote for the Congress because it supports it. Nobody cares enough to vote for the Left because it opposes it. And nobody cares enough to stop voting for the BJP because it lies about it.

None of this has to do with substance. It has to do with emotion. And politics is often about emotion.
Numbers game doesn't clearly favour any side for trust vote</b>

New Delhi (PTI): As the Manmohan Singh government braces for its first trust vote, the numbers game will be a dicey affair with fence sitters expected to have a field day.

Be it Ajit Singh's RLD or JD (S) of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda or other smaller parties and independents, all have the potential to upset the applecart of the Congress-led UPA coalition.
As one Congress leader put it, "this is the first confidence vote where the tenth schedule (anti-defection law) would be of no use" as the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner.</b>

But, the suspense over the trust vote has deepened more as main opposition BJP appears reluctant to make much noise, which could create unnecessary problems for Left parties, whose withdrawal of support has led to the trust vote.

As there are nearly a dozen fence sitters in the Lok Sabha, both the government and the opposition are pinning high hopes on them and expecting their support.

In the Lok Sabha having an effective strength of 543, the ruling side has to cross the halfway mark of 272 to prove a simple majority.

The ruling UPA has an assured support of 221 MPs belonging to alliance partners, which includes the Congress' 153, RJD's 24, DMK's 16 and NCP's 11. However, the five-MP JMM, although an ally of UPA, has not yet revealed its cards.

'SP backed N-deal on grounds of national interest'</b>

Mumbai (PTI): Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh, on Sunday said his party decided to support the Indo-US nuclear deal after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance that the country's sovereignty was in no way jeopardised and the Hyde Act will not be a part of the deal.

"Manmohan Singh has assured us that Hyde Act, under which the US will provide India access to civilian nuclear technology, is not the part of our N-deal and it will not affect the sovereignty of India," Singh said. Samajwadi Party has supported the N-deal on the grounds of national interest, Singh told reporters.

Asked whether India's stand on Iran has to be in sync with the US as mentioned in the Hyde Act, he said the prime minister has assured that "our relations with Iran would be friendly". Singh said "Iran is our old friend and our relations with them would be friendly even after the commencement of the N-deal".
<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Jul 13 2008, 10:24 PM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Jul 13 2008, 10:24 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->

"Manmohan Singh has assured us that <b>Hyde Act, under which the US will provide India access to civilian nuclear technology, is not the part of our N-deal and it will not affect the sovereignty of India</b>," Singh said.

ok, can someone explain this? <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Samajwadi Party favours Manmohan as next PM</b>

New Delhi (PTI): Samajwadi Party on Sunday favoured Manmohan Singh as Prime Ministerial candidate in the next general elections and said it would go to polls under his leadership.

"We will go to elections under the leadership of Manmohan Singh who remains our candidate for Prime Ministership," SP General Secretary Amar Singh said in an interview to Prabhu Chawla on "Aaj Tak" channel.

He also gave credit to the Prime Minister for bringing the two parties together.

He was replying to a question as to who he would choose between Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as Prime Ministerial candidate, the SP leader said "the party was quite content with the leadership of Manmohan Singh."
The SP general secretary also indicated that the party favoured a pre-poll alliance with Congress in Uttar Pradesh in the next Lok Sabha polls and said it won't field candidates in Rae Bareily and Amethi, which are represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi respectively.</b>

"We want to have a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in UP and won't field candidates against the Congress in Rae Bareily and Amethi."

Singh also said the UPA government would comfortably sail through the trial of strength in the Lok Sabha on July 22. "I won't reveal my strategy for saving the government but I am confident that we will get support of more than 290 MPs," Singh said, adding that the alliance between the two parties would continue beyond the next Lok Sabha elections.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Sikh as PM a non-issue: Badal </b>
Pioneer News Service | Chandigarh
Shiromani Akali Dal supremo and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being a Sikh was a non-issue and his party would go with the NDA during the confidence vote on the nuclear deal issue in the Lok Sabha.

"<b>Don't drag me into non-issues like the Prime Minister being a Sikh," </b>he told mediapersons in Jalandhar when asked whether his party would vote against India's first Sikh Prime Minister during the confidence vote, according to PTI.

"SAD is a constituent of the NDA and we will follow the stand taken by it," the Punjab Chief Minister is reported to have said.

<b>Badal's remarks came amid reports that some Sikh bodies have approached the Akal Takht for a directive to community's MPs to support the Prime Minister during the trust vote </b>

Congressi can now drag Akhal Takht. Somevbody should ask Seer to issue a directive that traitors to be sent to Andaman Islands.
Finally, Badal is behavimg like a Indian not Sikh.
<b>Venkaiah Naidu predicts early general elections</b>
Special Correspondent
BANGALORE: BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday predicted the fall of the UPA Government and early elections to the Lok Sabha.

He was speaking after his felicitation by the people of Padmanabhanagar Assembly Constituency here.

Mr. Naidu said the UPA Government trying to deflect the attention of people from its failure on all fronts.

While the Left parties became an impediment to the country’s progress, the Congress had no programme or policies for development.

Mr. Naidu alleged that the people of the country were fed up with the UPA rule.

He said the UPA Government had too many remote controls, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh never got a chance to display his administrative acumen.

He said the UPA Government was in the “intensive care unit.”

Member of Parliament for Bangalore South H.N. Ananthkumar said the people of Bangalore and Karnataka had shown confidence in the BJP and the leadership of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

The party would also do well in the general elections. Chairman of the PES Group M.R. Doreswamy, MLC, was felicitated on the occasion.
<b>UPA government has betrayed Muslims, says Advani</b>
Sujay Mehdudia
“There will be no Congress-led government after the next election
BJP leader L.K. Advani greeting one of the delegates of the National Minority Women’s Convention organised by the BJP Minority Front in New Delhi on Sunday.

NEW DELHI: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Lal Krishna Advani on Sunday charged the Congress-led United Progress Alliance government with betraying not only the Muslims of the country but also the common man by endangering their economic security. He called upon people to look ahead, beyond “this discredited, corrupt and opportunist government.”

The “betrayal” was not limited to bartering the country’s interests in the nuclear deal with the United States but the failure was most pronounced in endangering the economic security of the common man, he said at a “Women’s Conference,” organised by the BJP’s Minority Morcha,

“The unprecedented rise in prices of all essential commodities and services has not only further impoverished the poor, but also rendered the middle class poorer. When prices rise, they drill holes in the family budgets; it does not discriminate between Hindu and Muslims,” he said.

Mr. Advani claimed that there would be no Congress-led government after the next parliamentary election.

The BJP was not against minorities. It was only against the “politics of minorityism.” The concept of “majority and minority” should not be stretched too far. “Some political parties, purely for vote-bank considerations, want Muslims to remain forever in the “minority mindset.” “Their politics of ‘minorityism’ is neither helping the nation’s development nor the development of minorities themselves. It is for this reason that I say that the BJP is ‘anti-minorityism,’ but not anti-minorities.”

Urging the minorities support the BJP and the NDA in the next general election, Mr. Advani appealed to the minorities not to remain pawns in the “selfish” politics of the Congress and other “pseudo-secular” parties.
Care for women

He said it was the moral duty of all to care for those who were most deprived of these. “This is why we have to care more for women, because women in all communities are generally lagging behind men.”

Studies showed that Muslim women were among the poorest, educationally most disenfranchised, economically most vulnerable and politically most under-represented group in the country. There may be many factors but as far as the responsibility of the government was concerned, the Congress had to accept the most blame because it had ruled for the longest period, both at the Centre and in many States, after Independence, he said.
CPI(M) not averse to supporting UPA after next polls

New Delhi (PTI): The Left parties may have snapped ties with the UPA over nuclear deal on an acrimonious note, but the CPI(M) is not averse to supporting the Congress-led coalition after the next elections provided "that they do not betray it like this time".

Senior CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said the present "experience will be a shadow" in the ties but did not rule out Left extending support to Congress based on the "circumstances and policies" it follows.

"It (support) depends on the policies they follow. If they follow a CMP without betraying like now," Yechury told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme.

"This experience (Government going to IAEA) will (however) be a shadow," he said, adding that the Left extended support to the UPA four years ago based on the common minimum programme (CMP) which "did not include the nuclear deal".

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan has, three days ago said, the Left parties will not be averse to supporting Congress in the bigger fight against communal forces in future but indicated that it would not support a government led by Manmohan Singh.

He said there would be "occasions" in the future when the Left parties will have to fight against communal forces together with Congress and similar "secular" parties.

"He (Singh) will not always be the Prime Minister. I am talking about the Congress as an institution. I am talking of secular parties. We will have to deal with them," Bardhan said.

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