The Left parties’ utterances against the Manmohan Singh government got shriller on Monday with CPI leader AB Bardhan accusing the Congress of horse trading offering Rs 25 crore to each MP to win the trust vote and CPM leader Prakash Karat avowing he would go all out to prevent the government from winning the trust vote.
The two Left leaders were among several others speaking at a public meeting the first ever since the Left withdrew support from the government to mark the launch of the Left’s campaign against the UPA government. “I am told they (the Congress) are paying Rs 25 crore each for horse trading….I am making this allegation because this rate is being talked about in the market,” the CPI General Secretary said. He said the Congress was doing everything possible to win the July 22 trust vote. “Even those MPs who are convicted for serious crime are being brought out to vote,” he said.
Karat, who had met BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday, rekindled hopes of a third alternative in what was his first public address since the UPA-Left split. “The answer to the problems of the country is to bring about non-Congress, non-BJP alternative,” he said. “We were working on that with some people but they went to the Congress. They will have to repent,” he said without naming the SP. Bardhan said the UPA was expecting al 39 parliamentarians from the SP to vote in favour of the government but that will not happen. “You are dreaming of 39 votes from them. On July 22, you will know how many votes you got from there,” he added.
The CPM General Secretary said the Indo-US nuclear deal was being completed by two leaders — the Indian PM and the US president — who no longer had the mandate of the people. “We don’t want that to happen,” he said. Karat asserted that the Left had withdrawn support to the UPA government for its failure to control rising prices and its abandoning of an independent foreign policy in favour of the US in signing the deal. “We will go to the people and say Congress ka haath America ke saath (The Congress stands for the US and no longer the common man),” Karat said.