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2009 Poll Prospects And Alignments-2
After reading Ambani interview -

In month of May, A Ambani met Moron SIngh, Moron Singh offered deal, you will get every type of cuts just delivered us SP. Anil said done deal.
He asked Amar Singh, Bhai I will make big chunk of money and your son can open couple of factories , so join this money making bandwagon.
Moron Singh announce whole drama.
Left , left Moron Singh.
SP walk into new wedlock.
Now Mukesh is sour like hell.

I want to see these traitors get nice taste of common Indian justice.
<b>Cong MPs in touch with us, says BJP</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->With the<b> eight-member Akali Dal scotching speculation about the party abstaining from voting in view of the PM being a Sikh</b>, Leader of the Opposition LK Advani held consultations with the party’s senior leaders on Tuesday.

BJP leader VK Malhotra claimed that <b>the government may not get more than 250 votes in support of the confidence motion</b>. The government needs 272 votes to prove a majority in the present House of 543.

Malhotra also sought a high-powered probe into the "money power and blackmail" used by the Congress for horsetrading in a bid to ensure victory. <b>He claimed MPs are being lured with ministerial berths and corporate houses are being promised benefits in the campaign to get through the trust vote</b>. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Advani ahead of Cong in 'dalal salam': Amar Singh</b>

Tue, Jul 15 08:57 PM

Hitting back at the BJP, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh on Tuesday said the saffron party should not comment on 'brokers' in politics as they were the first in the race to try and effect a deal to topple the Congress-led UPA Government.

Singh picked on BJP Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani's comments on 'dalal salam', claiming that it was directed at him and said the senior leader should not be the one commenting on this as his emissary Jaswant Singh had approached the SP in a bid to dismantle the UPA Government twice already.

In a sarcastic rebuttal to Advani's comments, he said, "The BJP leader had proved his seniority even in case of 'dalal salam' as he was ahead of the Congress in trying to make a deal with the SP."

"He (Advani) has not been able to fulfill his ambition of becoming the Prime Minister, so out of sheer frustration he is using such language," Singh said.

However, he added, that the Samajwadi Party respected him as a person but would not forge a political alliance with him as it opposed his politics of 'Ram'.

Singh said BJP Rajya Sabha leader Jaswant Singh had approached the SP twice, once at the Maurya Hotel through AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa and recently on July 2 in a bid to topple the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre.

He said the SP had always said 'lal salam' in the past and would continue to do so. "We have never said anything against CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat," he pointed out.

Reacting to BJP's comments that Kalam should not be the last word on the nuclear deal, the SP General Secretary questioned, "who has more credibility, Kalam or Yashwat Sinha and Arun Shourie".

"If they (BJP leaders) attack Kalam, they will fall in the eyes of the public," he said.

Singh said senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh had approached the SP twice, once at the Maurya Hotel through AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa and recently on the second of this month in a bid to topple the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre.

He said that the SP had always said 'lal salaam' in the past and would continue to do so. "We have never said anything against CPM general secretary Prakash Karat," he pointed out.

Reacting to BJP's comments that former President A P J Abdul Kalam should not be the last word on the nuclear deal, the SP General Secretary questioned, "who has more credibility, Kalam or (BJP leaders) Yashwat Sinha and Arun Shourie. If they (BJP leaders) attack Kalam, they will fall in the eyes of the public".

Responding to the CPI leader's charge of horse-trading, Singh said, "Bardhan is a respected leader but he should authenticate his charge with proof. Even my MP has been offered Rs 30 crore by BSP, but I have no documentary evidence."

Asked how the government would be able to succeed in the game of numbers, the SP leader said, "I will tell you on July 22 (the date of confidence vote in Lok Sabha)".

On whether corporate houses were governing the country's political future in the wake of Mukesh Ambani meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the SP leader said, "if industrialisation needs to be done then leaders would have to meet industrialists".

'<b>Manmohan responsible for collapse of UPA-Left coalition'</b>

Tue, Jul 15 05:45 PM

CPM general secretary Prakash Karat squarely blamed the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress for the 'collapse' of the UPA-Left coalition by moving ahead with the nuclear deal to the IAEA.

"The Prime Minister and the Congress are responsible for the collapse of the (UPA-Left) arrangement that helped the installation of the secular government at the Centre by moving ahead with the nuclear deal", Karat said in a bylined article published in the party's mouthpiece Ganashakti on Tuesday.

He said that the Left parties had withdrawn support to the UPA government as 'the Left can never compromise on such an important issue in which the involvement of American imperialism is so explicit'.

Karat also said that Left parties opposition to the nuclear deal has no similarity with that of BJP on the issue.

He said that BJP's opposition to the nuclear deal was confined to only one aspect that India's capability to produce nuclear weapons would be compromised. "BJP has accepted the other conditions of nuclear deal", he said.

"BJP is not opposed to the strategic agreement with America and tying up with that country on foreign policy", he said.

The CPM is opposing the nuclear deal because the party feels that the move is a part of a conspiracy to bind India into a strategic relationship with the US, Karat said adding 'the partnership has political, military and economic connotations'.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->UPA has only 250 MPs: BJP

Wed, Jul 16 03:20 AM

Sensing that the July 22 trust vote was going to be a touch-and-go affair, the BJP on Tuesday suddenly turned aggressive saying the ruling UPA combine commanded the backing of no more than 250 MPs.

"This Government will not survive the trust vote even when it's indulging in large-scale horse-trading," said BJP deputy leader in Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra, adding many small parties, Independents and even some Congress MPs "were in touch with the BJP".

Asserting that money power "was being used in a big way" to lure Opposition MPs, Malhotra said three top industrialists had only recently visited the PMO in the last few days suggesting all was not well in the ruling combine.

The BJP has, meanwhile, convened a meeting of all its chief ministers on Thursday to discuss the political situation and strategy to keep the NDA flock together. The meeting is likely to be attended by all 12 chief ministers of NDA- ruled states.

The BJP also hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after PMO sources suggested that BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani "had changed his stand on the Indo-US nuclear deal due to pressure from his party". Senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu reminded Manmohan Singh that it was he who had reversed his stance on a number of occasions.

"It's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who has changed his stand. As a leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, he criticised the NDA government in 1998 in Parliament for Pokharan II. He then wrote a letter to Vajpayeeji in 2007 saying that the NDA had done the right thing (in Pokhran II)," Naidu added.<b>

Among other instances, Naidu said: "Singh had said in an interview to a newspaper that if the Left was against the deal, so be it. Later, he said in a conclave organised by another newspaper that this (UPA) was not a one-issue government. One issue is not the end of life." BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad also questioned the basis of the Samajwadi Party's support to the UPA on the Indo-US nuclear deal.</b>

"Two years ago, US President George Bush had come to India and the SP had then burnt his effigies and held countrywide demonstrations. Now, Amar Singh suddenly finds Advani to be more dangerous than Bush. We would like to congratulate Amar Singh on this turnabout," Prasad said.
<b>Left has infused 'new hopes' in BJP: Vayalar Ravi</b>

Tue, Jul 15 07:29 PM

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) Launching a fresh attack on the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), a senior minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government Tuesday said the Left's "help" has given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "new hopes" to fulfill its dreams including the construction of a Ram temple in the disputed area at Ayodhya.

"The CPI-M's aggressive anti-Congress stance and its past history during which it had joined hands with even the BJP to defeat the Congress force me believe that (its general secretary Prakash) Karat was going to help the BJP," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi told reporters at Parliament House.

"Hoping that the position of the CPI-M would help them, the BJP has revived its original agenda including the construction of a Ram temple," Ravi alleged.

The minister's charges came after reports that many senior CPI-M leaders raised questions about the party leadership's decision to vote against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government along with the BJP, a party it has always branded as 'commumal'.

The Congress-led UPA government is facing a trust vote in the Lok Sabha July 22 after the CPI-M-led Left parties withdrew their four-year legislative support.

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who was asked by the CPI-M leadership to quit his post before July 22, and West Bengal Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty reportedly wrote to Karat saying it would not be correct to vote against the Congress-led government along with the BJP during the July 22 trust vote.

Chakraborty, who is also a CPI-M state secretariat member, said the Communists would have to answer embarrassing questions from people for a long time if its MPs voted against the Congress.

Countering the Left's argument that the Congress had voted with the BJP to bring down the V.P. Singh government in 1990, Ravi said: "It was the CPI-M that joined hands with the BJP to support V.P. Singh's government. We were in opposition and it was our duty to bring down the government."

Ravi also said the Communists had joined hands with the BJP's forerunner Jana Sangh to defeat former Congress prime minister Indira Gandhi, "who fought against the US imperialism aggressively and who had joined hands with the erstwhile Soviet Union to counter the imperialist forces".

Launching the Left campaign against the government, Karat Monday said the Congress had no right to point fingers at the Left as it had voted with the BJP to bring down the V.P. Singh government in 1990 and later "conspired" to remove the governments of H.D. Deve Gowda in 1997 and I.K. Gujral in 1998.

<b>Government set to fall, asserts BJP</b>

Tue, Jul 15 06:25 PM

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government is set to lose the trust vote in parliament July 22, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra said Tuesday.

'The Congress is indulging in horse-trading by misusing money power. We are confident this government is not going to survive the trust vote,' a confident Malhotra told reporters here.

Malhotra, deputy leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha, said this while announcing a meeting here Thursday of the chief ministers of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) states to discuss a strategy to defeat the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in the trust vote.

The meeting is likely to be attended by all 12 chief ministers of the NDA-ruled states, said BJP sources.

Malhotra said his party was confident that the UPA government had the backing of only 250 MPs, far short of the halfway mark of 272 in the 545-member Lok Sabha.

The Left parties, with 59 MPs in the lower house, withdrew support to the government last week over the India-US nuclear deal, reducing the Congress-led UPA to a minority.

The BJP leader said the core group of the party was meeting almost daily to study the political developments. Party sources said that most meetings took place at the residence of senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the basis of the Samajwadi Party's support to the UPA on the India-US nuclear deal.

'Two years ago US President George Bush came to India and at that time the Samajwadi Party burnt his effigies and held countrywide demonstrations against him.

'Now (Samajwadi Party general secretary) Amar Singh suddenly finds (BJP leader L.K.) Advani to be more dangerous than Bush. We would like to congratulate Amar Singh on this about turn,' Prasad said.

<b>Nervous Congress tries to ensure numbers don't evaporate in the heat</b>

Tue, Jul 15 02:39 AM

While "280" is the constant refrain of the ruling camp busy number crunching ahead of the trust vote on July 22, there are palpable jitters within the Congress as many of its potential backers are refusing to bite the bullet. To make it worse, efforts are on to poach MPs in the ruling camp, with the BSP leading from the front.

Former Union minister Akhilesh Das, who quit the Congress to join the BSP last May, was learnt to be making aggressive bids to woo Congress MPs from Uttar Pradesh. Another former Congressman and eastern Uttar Pradesh strongman who has since landed at Mayawati's door after hopping between different parties, Hari Shankar Tiwari, was learnt to be involved in wooing Congress MPs. These BSP leaders are said to be in touch with at least three Congress MPs from the state. There are similar bids to woo UPA MPs in other states, including Haryana and Gujarat.

This has made the ruling camp nervous. It was in this context that Congress president Sonia Gandhi last Saturday instructed general secretaries/in-charges of states to keep the flock together ahead of the floor test. According to ruling party sources, what has muddied the waters is the fact that many sitting MPs have at the back of their minds the changes due to the delimitation exercise while others are not so sure of getting party nomination in the next general election.

However, the remarks of an AICC general secretary - "this goes for MPs in the opposition camp as well" - indicate that the party is hoping this factor will get negated.

The SP is equally concerned about keeping its flock together and is planning to call all its MPs to the capital much before the trust vote.

The ambivalence on the part of parties like the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the JD(S) is also giving sleepless nights to Congress crisis managers. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who has been instrumental in keeping the Madhu Koda government in Jharkhand alive despite strong views against it in the Congress camp, has been assigned the task of persuading JMM chief Shibu Soren. Soren has been sulking since not being re-inducted into the Cabinet.

While JD(S) supreme H D Deve Gowda continues to keep the Congress guessing about his stance, Congress leaders feel that Gowda could not afford to be seen as helping the BJP bring down the Government at the Centre.
<b>PM must seek fresh mandate, says Rajnath

Tue, Jul 15 02:39 AM

BJP president Rajnath Singh on Monday said the Government propped up by the Samajwadi Party would be worse than the UPA coalition supported by the Left.

Singh alleged that such an indication came when an SP leader was found going through Commerce Ministry files the very day his party decided to support the Congress.

"We request the Prime Minister to resign and seek a fresh mandate because even if the present dispensation survives the trust vote, there will only be a Government but no governance," the BJP leader told reporters. Though the UPA Government was set to fall, the NDA coalition would not indulge in malpractices like horse-trading to make that happen. He accused the Congress of using all means to stay in power.

"The Congress-Left alliance was an opportunistic one and not based on common ideology. The Congress and UPA were in the clutches of the Left parties, which caused immense damage to the country," he said, adding that the NDA was the only coalition capable of providing a stable Government.

He said the BJP was suspicious of the way the Left withdrew support to the UPA coalition. Though he did not elaborate on his suspicion, he said nothing had changed since the time Left expressed its opposition to the deal and the time it actually withdrew its support. He said the BJP was very clear: "We want strategic relationship with the US but we want to be treated on equal footing."

The BJP MPs will explain to the masses how the nuclear deal would affect the country's nuclear sovereignty but it won't be the main campaign agenda.

"There are bigger issues like inflation, terrorism, Naxalism and farmers' distress," he added. In reply to a question, he said the BJP would build a temple at Ayodhya only if it got a clear majority at the Centre.

No question of joining hands with BJP: CPI</b>

Chennai (PTI): Refuting criticisms that Left parties move to withdraw support to UPA Government over the Indo-US nuclear deal would benefit BJP, CPI National Secretary D Raja on Wednesday said that the left would never join hands with the BJP.

"We will be the first one to oppose the communal BJP. It is unfair to say that we have joined hands with the BJP to dislodge the UPA government at the Centre. It is the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is responsible for the present situation," Raja said.

He said there was no question of joining hands with the BJP. "We are pursuing our own policy against the deal. There is no question of joining hands with BJP. It was the Congress, which bailed out the NDA government, when a bill to allow FDI in insurance sector came up in the Parliament. It was also Congress, which toppled the V P Singh, Deve Gowda and I K Gujral governments with the BJP," he said.

Asserting that Left parties would vote against the Manmohan Singh government in Lok Sabha during the trust vote, he said the Prime Minister was having a single point agenda of pushing through the Indo-US nuclear deal to fulfil his commitment to US President George Bush.

He said the deal would harm India's independent foreign policy.

On the issue of the firing on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, Raja said he was at a loss to understand the UPA government's "silence" on the issue.

The Centre should take up the issue with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the SAARC summit hosted by Sri Lanka next month, he said.

Cong can't count on 4 of its own in number game

New Delhi: Congress leaders are smiling for the camera and say the Government would win the vote of confidence in Parliament on July 22 but deep within they know it’s going to be no cakewalk.

The UPA combine along with others had the support of 260 MPs on July 15 but the situation changed on July 16 when the number of MPs of whose support the Government was sure of came down to 256. And no it was not the Opposition which pulled the MPs away—the UPA’s own number of MPs reduced from 218 to 214.

The Government senses trouble from four rebel Congress MPs who could vote against the party whip.<b> Kuldeep Bishnoi, suspended Congress MP from Bhiwani in Haryana, on Wednesday said he would vote against the Government. </b>"I am against Sonia Gandhi. So I will vote against the UPA. I strongly oppose the India-US civil nuclear deal also," said Bishnoi, son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal.

<b>A F Golam Osmani, Congress MP from Barpeta in Assam, is against Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s leadership and he too could vote against the Government on July 22.</b> Osmani voted according to the party’s wishes during election for the Vice-President but he had abstained during the Presidential election.

<b>Former union minister R L Jalappa, who represents Karnataka’s Chikballapur constituency in Parliament, is the third troublesome MP for Congress. The BJP has promised to give Jalappa’s son a ticket in the in the Lok Sabha elections and so he may rebel against the Congress on July 22.

Finally, there is M H Ambareesh, the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and Congress MP from Mandya in Karnataka. Ambareesh, a film actor, is also reportedly considering switching sides.</b>

The UPA’s second biggest worry is that whether Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav will be able to keep his entire flock of 37 MPs on July 22. Two party MPs have already declared that they would defy the party whip and so the Government may get the support of 37 SP MPs came, not 39.

The UPA’s third biggest worry is that it needs 16 out of the 20 MPs in the undecided block to vote for the Government, but these fence sitters have not committed their support yet.

<b>The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has five MPs, but its leader Shibu Soren wants his Cabinet berth back to support the Government.</b>

Former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief H D Deve Gowda has three MPs but he has not given his decision to the Congress yet. <b>Rebel JD (S) MP M P Veerendra Kumar has declared that he will vote against the government.</b>

Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh has three MPs, but he too wants a minister’s post for his support.

The National Conference has two MPs but it has not decided what to do on July 22.

The Government needs the support of at least 272 MPs to survive in Parliament and till now race to get that support has not been won.
Karunanidhi chides Left parties
Chennai (PTI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi on Thursday chided the Left parties for withdrawing support to the UPA government, saying people will be angry against those who toppled the government over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Asked about the Left's tirade against Congress after its withdrawal of support to the government, Karunanidhi told reporters here that "I don't believe in abusing or hurling charges after breaking from an alliance."

Karunanidhi said he still wanted things to come to an "amicable end" to resolve differences between the Left and the UPA on the nuclear deal.
Evading a direct reply to CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat's call to UPA constituents to come out of the alliance with Congress, he said he wanted the differences on the deal to be 'amicably' resolved.</b>
He sounds like Dhritarashtra in Mahabharat.
<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jul 18 2008, 12:45 AM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jul 18 2008, 12:45 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->He sounds like Dhritarashtra in Mahabharat.

Statement from Prakash Karat:

How un-secular! How communal! These ultra-HindooFundoo IF guys are desecrating our Leftness and un-communalist-(but pro-communist-)ness by bringing in references to Hindoo mythology. By the Big Bindi of Brinda, I curse you. No, never mind, that would be kind of Hindoo too..well, let me just condemn, deplore, and admonish you. Harrumph!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Clinging to office </b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
Somnath should have resigned
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has not exactly covered himself with glory by cussedly refusing to do the morally right thing. Few apart from those who stand to gain politically from his continuance in office would justify his decision to stay put despite the CPI(M) withdrawing its support to the UPA Government.<b> Since he has been elected to the Lok Sabha on the CPI(M)'s ticket, and has on several occasions flaunted his Marxist credentials, he should have stepped down from the Speaker's post by now.</b> While it is true that the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha ceases to represent any political party once he or she is elected to the post of Speaker, in Mr Chatterjee's case this tradition applies with a rider attached to it. He became Speaker by virtue of the Left extending its support to the UPA Government; had the Left not been a member of the extended UPA family, he would have continued to sit on Opposition benches. Now that the Left has walked out of the arrangement, that too on an ideological issue, it is morally incumbent upon him to give up his office, along with the perquisites and privileges that come with it. Second, the CPI(M) has made it abundantly clear that it would like him to relinquish office and vote against the Government on July 22. By choosing to ignore his party's desire, he has placed a big question mark on his professed political commitment all these decades. Third, by refusing to toe the party line, he has demonstrated a certain political bias that cannot but cast aspersion on his ability to discharge his duties in a fair manner during the trust vote proceedings, especially the debate that will precede actual voting.<b> This perception is strengthened by his utterances to the effect that he cannot vote along with the BJP against the Congress-led Government. If as Speaker he is indeed above partisan politics, as he so loftily claims to be, he should not have betrayed his biases in so pronounced a manner. The 'untouchability' he now practices is a far cry from his collaboration with the BJP in the past</b>. Mr Chatterjee has perhaps forgotten, but others have not, how he and his colleagues walked out of Parliament along with the BJP's MPs to protest against the cover-up of the Bofors scam in 1989 after hurling invectives at the Congress Government of the day, which was headed by Rajiv Gandhi.

Mr Chatterjee has a distinguished record as a parliamentarian and has not hesitated to rip into Governments in the past, fulfilling his duty as a member of the Opposition. What we are witnessing now is the abnegation of that record. If there is discomfort -- some would suggest embarrassment -- within the Left over the brazen manner in which he is clinging on to his office, there is justifiable consternation and concern in the rest of the Opposition.<b> For him this may be the end of the road and he would rather retire as Speaker of the Lok Sabha than resign to uphold the dignity of his office and the prestige of his party</b>. But for others who look forward to a future in parliamentary politics, his action has set a precedent that is both undesirable and unhealthy for parliamentary democracy. <b>Most important, by electing amorality over the morally obvious, he has sought to diminish the prestige of the office he holds</b>. He is welcome to his bluster, but he would do well to take note of the fact that his action has not won him any admirers
I would reply that teh Naxal of Andhra Pradesh who are more Left than him use imagery of the Puranas to make their case! Obviuously his Macaulayite education didnt help him yet in making the case.
<!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo--> In the first signs of reconciliation between Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and CPM leadership, the former has indicated willingness to toe the party line and vote against the UPA government’s trust motion, in case there is a tie. The chair can exercise its right for a casting vote as a tiebreaker.

Sources familiar with the speaker’s consultation with different people told HT that Chatterjee is aware of his primary association with the CPM and has no intention to disown it.

Deny government legitimacy for sealing deal: CPI(M)</b>

Special Correspondent

Deal is the conduit to trap India into the U.S. imperialist web, says editorial

Left will work to prevent India “from becoming a subordinate ally of U.S. imperialism”

BJP has its own reasons in its “restless urge to return to power”

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has said the Manmohan Singh government, set to take a trust vote in the Lok Sabha on July 22, required the legitimacy to go in for the India-U.S. nuclear deal which will be set on auto-pilot once the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors approved the safeguards agreement with India.

“For precisely this reason, the government needs to be defeated in order to ensure that the India-U.S. nuclear deal does not get this required legitimacy. Those of us opposing this deal on its own content and, more importantly, as it serves as the conduit to trap India into the U.S. imperialist web of global strategic designs, will have to vote in full strength to ensure this,” said an editorial in the coming issue of the party organ People’s Democracy.

“This, naturally, raises the question whether the CPI(M) and the Left would like to be seen on the same side as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the communal forces in voting against the Manmohan Singh government. Particularly since the Left’s outside support to this UPA government, based on a Common Minimum Programme, was aimed at keeping the communal forces away from the reins of State power.” “The moot question here is to protect the country from the consequences of this India-U.S. nuclear deal which imply protecting India’s sovereignty, independent foreign policy and independence in dealing with our security concerns. This requires that this government be defeated in this trust vote. The Left will, thus, discharge its responsibility in our national interest by voting against the government,” the editorial “Stop Deal, Defeat Trust Vote” said. The editorial said the Left was clear in its approach. “It shall work to achieve its objective of upholding our national interests and preventing India from becoming a subordinate ally of U.S. imperialism.”
Main grouse

“The BJP, indeed, has its own reasons for voting against the UPA government, in its restless urge to return to power. The process of strengthening the strategic relationship with U.S. imperialism was, indeed, begun by the BJP-led NDA government. Unfortunately, the UPA government carried this forward. The BJP’s main grouse may well be that such an India-U.S. nuclear deal should have been concluded under the patronage of its government and not by Manmohan Singh.

“This is obvious from the fact that during the entire tenure of the 14th Lok Sabha, the BJP, as the principal Opposition party, did not even move the customary no-confidence motion. If it was so strongly opposed to this deal, then it could very well have moved a no-confidence motion. The fact that it chose not to do so clearly shows that it does not wish to displease the U.S. Bush administration.

“By now it is clear that the Prime Minister had made serious efforts to rope in the support of the BJP for the deal. By describing the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, as the ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of Indian politics, he negotiated and it is widely believed that he had allayed the BJP’s objections to the deal in writing,” the editorial said.

The BJP may be opposing the trust motion so as to force early elections which it may consider to its electoral advantage, the editorial said. It said that in the Left-ruled States of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, the BJP does not have a single elected MLA, leave alone a Lok Sabha MP.

The CPI(M)’s consistent and unequivocal opposition to communalism was there for all to see, it said, adding that the Left required no certificates for its secular credentials. On the contrary, during the last four years in 13 State elections, many of them being ruled by the Congress and its allies, the BJP and its allies had been able to defeat the Congress and form governments.

“The experience of the past four years has shown that the growing popular discontent due to the economic burdens imposed on the people as a result of the policies pursued by the Manmohan Singh government is presenting the communal forces a big electoral advantage,” the editorial said.


Sonia: nuclear deal is in nation’s best interests</b>

Ravi Reddy

“We do not need a certificate of patriotism from anyone”

— Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

POWER PLANK: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy (left) during a public meeting in Nellore on Thursday.

NELLORE: United Progressive Alliance chairperson and AICC president, Sonia Gandhi, on Thursday defended the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, asserting that it was in the best interests of the country.

Addressing her first public meeting here after the Left parties withdrew support to the UPA government, she said there was no question of compromising on national security, nuclear programme and independent foreign policy.

“We do not need [a] certificate of patriotism from anyone. It was the Congress that got Independence to the country and carved out an independent foreign policy,” she added, indirectly referring to allegations against the UPA and Congress.
Urgent need

Stating that there was an urgent need to access the latest nuclear technology and fuel from other countries, Ms. Gandhi wondered how the government and the Congress could be faulted for the nuclear agreement. She said the future generations would indeed recognise the UPA government’s decision to go ahead with the agreement as it was in tune with the country’s requirements.

“Yet we are being accused of going against the interests of our country. Let me state before you, before the whole country categorically, there is no question of compromising on our security interest, on our nuclear programme and our independent foreign policy,” she said.

Ms. Gandhi was on a day’s whirlwind tour of Nellore district to launch the second phase of Rajiv Arogyasri health insurance scheme and the inauguration of the world-class modern Krishnapatnam Port on Thursday.

She said the demand for power was increasing in the country and to meet the demand more nuclear plants were needed.

As the economy grew, India needed more power. “More power is required for the farmers, schools, hospitals and every household,” she reasoned.

Referring to the spiralling price of crude oil, she said that when the NDA government was in power, the cost of a barrel was $35. Now it has shot up to $147.

Despite the hardships because of country’s compulsion to import 75 per cent of crude oil to meet its requirement, the UPA government tried its best not to burden the common man.

Much of her 25-minute speech in English that was translated into Telugu by the Rajahmundry MP, V. Arun Kumar, was devoted to the programmes initiated by the Central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

She said the decision to waive farm loans to the tune of Rs.75,000 crore was a boon to the farmers in distress.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, AICC general secretary M. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister Panabaka Lakshmi, the former Chief Minister N. Janardhana Reddy and Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president D.Srinivas were present.

There’s no horse-trading: Digvijay
Special Correspondent

LUCKNOW: All India Congress Committee general secretary Digvijay Singh, who is also in charge of the party’s Uttar Pradesh affairs, on Thursday rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party’s allegations that the Congress was indulging in horse-trading to save the UPA government on the nuclear deal issue.

Mr. Singh said the Congress had never compromised on issues related to national interest for parochial political gains. He told journalists here that the issue was not whether the UPA government survived the July 22 trust vote or not; the important thing was that the deal was in the country’s interest.

Countering the BJP’s allegations, Mr. Singh said the Congress did not believe in horse-trading; in fact it was the saffron party which allegedly bought MLAs in Karnataka. He said it appeared that Leader of Opposition Lal Krishna Advani had handed over the BJP’s reins in U.P. to Chief Minister Mayawati and added that the BJP would be wiped out by Mr. Advani’s over-ambition.

Mr. Singh said the Congress had appealed to MPs cutting across party lines to support the nuclear deal in national interest. The conditions ingrained in the deal were better than what had been proposed when the NDA government was in power, he said. The former National Security Advisor, Brajesh Mishra, had supported the nuclear agreement, and even the former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, had backed the deal in private conversation.

Mr. Singh supported Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s remark in Amethi that many young MPs were in favour of the nuclear deal.

Mr. Singh said the right to conduct a nuclear test had not been taken away from India and permission for inspection would be granted for nuclear facilities which had been supplied fuel by the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

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