Left withdrawal of support to UPA was 'totally wrong': Pranab | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Left withdrawal of support to UPA was 'totally wrong': Pranab

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the Left's decision to withdraw support from the UPA government on the nuclear issue in July, 2008 was 'totally wrong' and accused the communists of being "idelogically bankrupt".

kolkata Updated: Apr 12, 2011 23:20 IST

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the Left's decision to withdraw support from the UPA government on the nuclear issue in July, 2008 was 'totally wrong' and accused the communists of being "idelogically bankrupt".

"It was a completely wrong decision and there was no reason at all to withdraw support," Mukherjee said adding even if the government had fallen, that does not mean the country would not have gone ahead with the civil nuclear co-operation agreement.

"Had our government collapsed at that time, Prakash Karat (CPI-M general secretary) would not have come to power and BJP would have done it (implementing the nuclear deal) anyway. This has already come out in the Wikileaks. Yes, Advani had given that assurance," Mukherjee told a Bengali TV channel aired on Tuesday.

It proved that on the question of ideology the communists were bankrupt and they did not learn, he said.

Taking a dig at the Left's inability to spread its influence beyond West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, he said, "I think they should have learnt a lesson and pondered with closed eyes why 91 years after organised communist movement started in India in 1920, they could not spread their influence beyond these three states."

In sharp contrast, he referred to BJP's (formerly Jana Sangha) growth and said the party, which was formed by Dr Shyamaprasad Mukherjee after 1950 by opposing the Nehru-Liyakat agreement and resigning from the government, had been able to come to power at the Centre in 1998 by capturing 180 Lok Sabha seats before the party completed 50 years of its birth.

To a question, Mukherjee said the Congress was not a rightist party, but Left-of-the Centre.

"From my budget document where government policies are reflected, it is evident that it is not rightist or Leftist. It is Left-of-the-Centre."

He defended the seat sharing between the Congress and Trinamool Congress for the upcoming polls, saying the alliance was a necessity to defeat the Left Front in West Bengal.

"Between 1977 and 1996, Congress polled about 40 per cent votes, but won only 15 per cent seats," he pointed out.

The aura of invincibility surrounding the Left Front was broken for the first time in the 2009 Lok Sabha when the Congress and Trinamool Congress formed the alliance and the combine won 26 out of the total 42 Lok Sabha seats, he said.

The Union minister reiterated that results of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and Assembly by-polls had established that if Congress and Trinamool joined hands, it would be possible to end the reign of the Left Front.

He accused the Left Front of frittering away the opportunity to industrialise the state in its more than three decade rule.

"They were in power for 35 long years. They definitely deserve credit for that time. But while remaining for a long period they could not do what they could have done. They had got the advantages for remaining in power for so long which no other party in India had got," he said.

Mukherjee said there was still scope for industrialisation.

"Singur and Nandigram events were recent ones. From 1977, when the Left Front came to power, till 2005 there was no problem for land acquisition, but despite that factories did not come up."

Mukherjee was all praise for the Trinamool Congress chief, saying her popularity was "incomparable".

Mamata had made political gains from her agitations in Singur and Nandigram, he said.