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Pranab meets CPM patriarch Jyoti Basu

July 13, 2008 15:21 IST

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday held a meeting with Communist Party of India-Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu ahead of the July 22 trust vote in the Lok Sabha and explained to him circumstances that led to break-up of the UPA-Left coalition.

Special: Why the Left, UPA broke up

Emerging from the 15-minute meeting with the former West Bengal chief minister, Mukherjee said he explained to the CPI-M leader the reasons behind the collapse of the 51-month UPA-Left alliance.

"I met Jyoti babu for two reasons -- to explain the circumstances under which the coalition collapsed and also to express my best wishes to the CPI-M leader turning 95 recently," Mukherjee told media persons in Kolkata.

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He said whether the government will survive or not will depend on the voting on the floor of the Parliament but it was his moral duty to apprise a leader of Basu's stature about the recent political developments leading to the Left's withdrawal of support to the Manmohan Singh [Images] government.

"We consider Basu and Harkishen Singh Surjit the architects of the coalition between the UPA and Left parties. So, I think as leader of the coalition in the Lok Sabha it was my moral duty to explain to Basu as to why we could not run the coalition government," he said.

The External Affairs minister drove to Basu's Salt Lake residence ahead of the CPI-M leader's scheduled meeting with Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

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