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We won't withdraw support to UPA: Karat
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | June 04, 2008 21:48 IST
Last Updated: June 04, 2008 22:33 IST
Expressing anger over the government's move, the Left parties have demanded a review of the hike in fuel prices. They have also declared a week-long nationwide agitation to protest against the 'unjustified burden' imposed on the common man.
But will the Left do anything more than protesting on the streets? When asked about the UPA government's apprehension about the possibility of Left parties withdrawing support to government on the issue of price rise, Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI (M), in an exclusive interview with rediff.com, ruled out any such possibility.
The interview was given to rediff.com over the weekend in New Delhi, four days before the actual price rise took place.
"We have just completed our central committee meeting. We have discussed the price rise -- and the proposed petrol price -- but in our discussions no demand of withdrawal of support was raised by anyone in our party. That question didn't come up. Yes, it (the issue of withdrawal of support to the UPA) came up earlier in the context of the nuclear deal. We made it clear in last October-November that on the issue of nuclear deal, we will pull out. But on other issues, we have not come to such a conclusion."
When asked if the close association with the government will affect their political fortunes, he said, "Where our party exists, people know we have our own views. Our support to this government is mainly to keep the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) out. And, on all issues we judge if they are in the interests of the people of our country or not. Only then do we take our stand. We have always demarcated the loopholes of the wrong policies. People know the role we are playing. They are not the blind followers."
When asked about the longevity of the UPA government, he emphatically that "this government will last its full term."
"I have always said that I don't see why this government should not complete its full term so long as it functions within the broad parameters of the common minimum programme," Karat added.
And what would the Left do if the issue of price rise picks up more steam? Karat replied: "We have already told the government that we will oppose the price rise. We have already told the government the steps it should take, instead of increasing fuel prices."
When told that people would say you are only barking and not biting, Karat lightly said: "I am not interested in barking or biting!"
"We are really interested in chasing out the wrong policies of the government. We want good policies to be put into place. Let the people judge," he added.