UPA-Left are comrades again
By Cithara Paul - NEW DELHI
Published: 15th Jul 2012 10:24:16 AM
Hamid Ansari’s candidature for vice-president may well be the beginning of a Congress-Left patch-up. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made a special effort to win over all Left parties for Ansari and almost succeeded. He has seen to it that CPI was also brought on board. The Congress has bagged the support of all Left parties—except the RSP. Defence minister A K Antony was the mediator between the Congress and RSP leaders.
The CPI(M) Politburo took the “surprising’’ decision in favour of Congress candidate Pranab Mukherjee despite earlier assurances to other Left parties that the party will not be supporting a Congress candidate. This resulted in a split within the Left, with the CPI and RSP deciding to abstain from voting.
“It is a fact that there is a strong view within the CPI(M) that the party should get closer to Congress to take advantage of the increasing differences between Congress and Mamata Banerjee. But there is an equally strong view, especially from the Kerala unit, that it should deviate from the anti-Congress line,’’ said a CPI(M) leader when asked about the increasing bonhomie between Congress and the CPI(M). But he did not deny the new-found camaraderie between the two. Ironically, the Left parties would be launching a national struggle protesting the economic policies of the Congress Government on July 30.
The Left, which had supported UPA I had withdrawn support in 2008 over the Indo-US nuclear deal.