PM Says Left Alliance Possible – Rahul Slams WB State Govt.

In an interview to a leading television channel Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggested that the Congress was not averse to prospects to a post-poll alliance with Left parties, but added that such a deal would not be cast at the cost of the Indo-US nuclear agreement, even as party leader Rahul Gandhi continued to push with a stinging campaign against the West Bengal state government on Saturday.

Speaking on possibilities of the post-poll alliance with the Left, Premier Singh said, “politics is the art of the possible” and without naming the Left parties suggested that the issue would be dealt with after election results start to come in on May 16.

“We have worked with the Left before… for four years they were our partners. I have enjoyed working with the Left. I have many friends. I think Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is a very good friend of mine,” he said.

West Bengal chief minister Battacharjee, incidentally, was the first Communist leader to openly suggest that the Left could relent with support to a Congress led government after the polls, despite party general secretary Prakash Karat ruling out the possibility.

Karat is the ideological driving force behind the anti-Congress, anti-BJP Third Front comprising of several regional biggies like former ptime minister HD Deve Gowda, UP chief minister Mayawati and TDP boss Chandra Babu Naidu.

While the Third Front has time-and-again suggested that it would restructure if not scrap the 123 Indo-US nuclear agreement, a defiant Singh who sees the deal as the highlight of his first term in office said: “There is no question of giving up the deal. That situation will not arise.”

Meanwhile, addressing voters in Murshidabad, West Bengal, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday urged his audience to refrain from voting Left parties which he accused of big talk and no action for the poor.

“I used to think the Communist government here works for the betterment of backward sections. But I am surprised to see the real situation,” he said, adding: “They can only criticise the policies formulated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre,” said Gandhi.

He also accused the state government of failing to implement the rural employment guarantee scheme in the state.

A majority of the 42 parliamentary seats in West Bengal go to polls during the fourth and fifth phases of the staggered Lok Sabha elections.

Without ruling out chinks in the armor of various outfits, political pundits quickly attribute, the stark difference in the communication emanating from both the Congress and the CPI-M, to the melee that the elections have been relegated to.

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