iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Zia Haq, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 25, 2009
Prakash Karat sent out a clear message to UPA allies that seeking the support of the Left alone was futile. The Left, he said, is not alone; it is part of a 10-party front. Any talks would have to include the entire bloc. The CPM Politburo member, also clarified that the Left is not amenable to supporting a government that includes the Congress.

Almost all the key Congress allies, including NCP, RJD and LJP, had reached out to the Communists on Thursday, saying their help would be crucial in forming a “secular” government.

Karat dribbled the ball all the way back to the UPA allies’ court, saying, instead, there could be a non-Congress government, with Congress extending “outside support”.

This gives a clear idea of where Karat’s focus will be after the polls — on negotiating with UPA allies to persuade the Congress for outside support.

Asked if the Left was under pressure to join back the UPA to keep BJP out, Karat asked: “What pressure? Don’t forget we have a pre-election alliance. We will go with our allies.”

NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said the UPA would need blessings of the Left to form the next government. Karat sought to remind the UPA allies that the Left was part of a bloc of 10-odd parties and they would have to negotiate with the Third Front as a whole.

Persuading the entire Front would obviously be much more difficult and, worse, Karat dropped no hint of any change in the Left’s goalpost: a non-Congress, non-BJP government.

“The Left cannot be isolated. We will not abandon our allies. Whatever decision (on government formation) we will have to take we will only take jointly,” Karat said.

By ruling out supporting a Congress-led government again, Karat in way tried to woo UPA allies.