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Left gives solace to UPA Govt

The Left leaders ruled out moving no-trust vote against the Government.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 21:02 IST

The Left parties on Monday ruled out moving or supporting any no-confidence motion against the UPA government.

The Left leaders, including CPM Joint Secretary Prakash Karat and CPI General Secretary AB Bardhan, conveyed this to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a 90-minute long meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee.

"The Left leaders have made it clear that they are not contemplating either moving or joining anything resembling a no-confidence motion in Parliament," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.

He said the Left leaders have informed that they will seek a discussion on the Iran issue in Parliament and the Government was ready for any such exercise.

"They told us they will raise the issue in Parliament. If a discussion is raised, the Government will welcome it and respond to their concerns. Government till take the opportunity to make its stand clear," he said.

The Minister said the Government has explained to the Left leaders why it had voted in favour of a resolution moved by the US and other countries at the IAEA meeting.

He said it was decided to hold another meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee before or after the Union Budget.

The Left's assurance that it would not support any no-confidence motion comes as a great relief to the Government as the Samajwadi Party along with Telugu Desam has threatened to move a no-trust vote on March six against the Government over the Iran vote.

"We have explained why we voted...We are committed to pursuing an independent foreign policy," Chidambaram said, adding "it (Iran) is difficult issue but we have to proceed carefully."

Asked whether the Left parties were satisfied with the Government's explanation on the Iran issue, Chidambaram said, "I did not get the impression that they were dissatisfied. Government will fully take part in the discussion."

Asserting that there was no threat to the Government either from the Left or the right, he said the UPA and the Left Parties share the larger concern for the country's development, commitment to secularism and to growth and social justice.

"We are determined to run the Government for the full term of five years," he added.

Besides the Prime Minister and the UPA Chairperson, others present at the meeting included Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's office Prithviraj Chawan and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

Chidambaram said that there were "disagreements" between the two sides on several matter and "we will make efforts to minimise them."

He said the Indo-US relations figured at the meeting and the Government responded by informing the Left of "step-wise action" taken by it.

The Finance Minister said the issue of President George W Bush's visit to India did not come up for discussion.

He said there was general discussion on coordination between the Government and the Left parties and the purpose of the meeting was to create conditions for better coordination.

The Left parties brought to the table notes on several issues while the Government acknowledged that on many issues it had moved forward after discussions and arriving at a consensus with the Left, which provide crucial outside support to the coalition, whether it be the issue of the amendments to the Electricity Bill, Patents Bill, FDI in print media, Employment Guarantee Scheme or telecom regulation.

"We made an honest attempt to arrive at a consensus on a number of issues.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 12:44 IST