Communist Party of India general secretary AB Bardhan says the Left parties will continue to support Pratibha Patil for President, regardless of the fact that she hasn’t been a “great chief executive” of a cooperative bank that has lately been in a controversy.
The stand enunciated by the CPI leader was unaffected as much by Patil’s reported views on sterilising humans with hereditary diseases.
On the closure of the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank by the RBI, he said: ``it so happens that so many banks fail, so many cooperatives fail. It only shows that she was not a very great executive director in all these economic affairs,’’ Bardhan told CNN/IBN channel.
Bardhan persisted with his defence of Patil by giving the example of LK Advani, who, he said was accused of being involved in hawala transactions and was guilty of destroying a masjid. Yet, he held the deputy PM’s post.
There was no question of withdrawing Patil, who would shortly respond to the allegations levelled against her. ``Somebody raises a charge, somebody raises a howl, somebody reduces it (the election) to the most degrading episode and then you want her to withdraw for that? Let somebody else withdraw who stands as an independent candidate,’’ Bardhan said
However, the veteran Communist distanced himself from the presidential aspirant’s take on sterilisation. As the health minister of Maharashtra in the mid ‘70s, she had, in a speech in the State assembly, advocated forced sterilisation of people with hereditary diseases.
Insisting that he was never in favour of forced sterilisation, he said he does not agree with everything Patil says or does. Her views on sterilisation were not of much importance because as President, she would not be laying down policies.
"She is not going to forcibly sterilise anybody…any way, it is not the President who will lay down policy,’’ the CPI leader said.
On the issue of Patil’s brother using the Sahakari Bank’s resources as his own, Barhdan said that Patil was not her brother’s guardian and her alleged involvement in the matter would have to be proved.