Surjit favours Cong-led coalition

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi
May 11, 2004 03:43 PM IST

Veteran CPM leader favoured Cong-led coalition at Centre, and hoped Sonia's foreign origin issue would be resolved.

After a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, CPI(M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet on Tuesday favoured a Congress-led coalition. He added that her foreign origin issue was a matter for discussion and a way would be found out.

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Surjeet was speaking to reporters after Gandhi drove down to his residence and had an hour-long interaction with him.

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"We will all work together. It will be a coalition government and not that of any party .... Congress strength is more and therefore it has to be acceptable," he said when asked whether the coalition would be led by the Congress.

Asked whether the differences between Congress and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party would create hurdles in such an endeavour, the veteran Marxist leader said there were bigger differences between the left and the Congress, including in Kerala and West Bengal, but it does not come in the way of meeting a challenge unitedly.

"We don't want any compromise which will help the NDA. The NDA has been exposed as a front of the BJP. That is a big challenge. We should make people aware of it and not allow BJP to come to power," he said.

Asked whether smaller non-NDA parties could be supported by Congress from outside to form the government, Surjeet said "such support does not work. In my long experience in politics, such support by a bigger party has not worked".

He said the priority was to form a united front of non-NDA parties and the issue of formation of government was not that ticklish given the fact that there were many experienced leaders who had handled various portfolios.

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