The Left parties’ utterances against the UPA government got shriller on Monday with CPI leader AB Bardhan accusing the Congress of horsetrading. He alleged the party had offered Rs 25 crore to each MP to win the trust vote.
CPM leader Prakash Karat avowed 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 since the Left withdrew support from the government — to mark the launch of the Left’s campaign against the UPA. “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,” Bardhan said. “Even MPs convicted of serious crimes are being brought out to vote,” he added.
Karat, who met BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday, said: “The answer to the problems of the country is to bring about a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative,” he said. “We were working on that with some people but they went to the Congress,” he said, without naming the SP. Bardhan said the UPA was expecting all 39 MPs from the SP to vote for the government but that wouldn’t happen.
Karat pointed out 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 will go to the people and say Congress ka haath America ke saath (The Congress stands for the US),” Karat said.
On the issue of the Left voting with the BJP, Bardhan said: “Remember Rajiv Gandhi had joined hands with the BJP to vote out the VP Singh government... These opportunists shouldn’t tell the Left what to do,” Bardhan said.