The Left parties supporting the UPA government at the Centre are free to withdraw their support, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said on Saturday night.
"We are running the government at the Centre with Left support to keep away a force from power and for safeguarding the unity of the country. The Left parties are free to write a letter to the President withdrawing support. Nobody is compelling them to continue support," Dasmunsi told a panel discussion after the launch of the Bengali edition of 'India Today'.
His comments came after CPI(M) leader and West Bengal Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee said the Congress-led UPA would have to follow the Left's model of economic development and the survival of the central government depended on Left support.
Stating that he did not know if it was Mukherjee's personal view or if he was articulating the party's views, Dasmunsi said they were free to withdraw support.
Dwelling on the topic of the panel discussion "Resurgent Bengal: Is it for real", Dasmunsi said the state had fallen behind in quantum of FDI investment, development of infrastructure, strengthening of the public sector and it was also uncertain whether the Tatas would be able to set up their small car project in the state.
Bengal was slipping, though Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had foresight and it was not clear whether he had CPI(M)'s support in his efforts for FDI driven industrialisation and economic reforms, Dasmunsi added.