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Left pledges support to Cong on Afzal issue

The Left are criticising BJP for threatening to disrupt Parliament proceedings, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2006 18:54 IST

The Left have reacted sharply to BJP’s threat of disrupting the proceedings of the first day of Winter Session of Parliament on the issue of Afzal Guru’s indictment in the Parliament attack case, saying that it’s an attempt to divide the country on communal lines.

The Left have also pledged support to the Congress on the issue and said that they would jointly attempt to prevent any adjournments by BJP, which is demanding that Afzal Guru be hanged at the earliest.

The BJP conveyed this message to Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, at a meeting on Saturday. Parliament begins on Wednesday.

Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for being involved in the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001. His mercy petition at present is pending with President APJ Abdul Kalam.

Left parties said that by demanding capital punishment for Afzal Guru, the BJP is attempting to divide the country on communal lines. A delegation of the four Left parties met Chatterjee on Monday for breakfast, and conveyed to him that they were against adjournments on such an issue.

Basudeb Acharia, CPI (M)’s leader in the Lok Sabha, said that the Left would attempt to prevent the Parliament from being adjourned on the very first day.

"This can’t be done. On Tuesday, there’s an all-party meeting where we will convey our reservations on Parliament adjournments. We are with the Congress on this," Acharia said.

CPI’s Lok Sabha leader, Gurudas Das Gupta, said that he has called up Minister for External Affairs and senior Congress leader, Pranab Mukherjee, to assure him of CPI’s support.

Das Gupta said that though his Party is against capital punishment, in the case of Afzal Guru, it’s for the law to decide. "Whether to hang him (Afzal Guru) or not should be decided through the normal process of the state’s law. The BJP’s demand stinks of communalism. We will cooperate with the Congress to prevent communalisation of the country," Das Gupta said.

Though communalism is one issue on which the Left is supporting the Congress, on economic issues they are ready to take the fight inside the Parliament.


First Published: Nov 20, 2006 18:54 IST