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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Prez polls: to abstain or not, Left to decide on June 21

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 16, 2012
First Published: 23:13 IST(16/6/2012) | Last Updated: 23:14 IST(16/6/2012)

The Left parties are toying with the idea of abstaining from the presidential polls though they are meeting on June 21 to firm up their strategy for the elections.

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There are strong voices within the Left to take a position that would “sufficiently explain” they are not aligning with the Congress and their position don’t compromise the fight against anti-people policies of the government, explain sources in these parties.

However, there are also enough indications that in the event of an “extremely difficult” situation, they would bail out the Congress.

Interestingly, at this point in time there are clear indications that the abstention by Left parties that has 4.7% votes in the electoral college that elects the President, will also benefit the Congress choice, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Many CPM leaders from Kerala are displeased with any keenness to support a Congress choice when the party is “being constantly targeted by the Congress-led UDF government in the state.”

“We are in direct fight with Congress in Kerala. The state government is falsely implicating our workers in cases and they are spreading all sorts of canards against us. We have to keep this in mind as well,” said a CPM leader from the state.

In the CPI, senior leaders like Gurudas Dasgupta are against the move to back a Congress candidate.

In the recently held CPM central committee meeting too, many leaders spoke against going all out for a UPA candidate in the presidential elections.

Left was spared from a major headache with the decision of Congress not fielding vice-president Hamid Ansari.

Ansari was the choice of the Left parties as a vice-president when they were supporting the UPA-I from outside.

The much-anticipated polls are scheduled on July 19.

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