» Election » PM speaks out on Third Front, N-deal & Tytler

PM speaks out on Third Front, N-deal & Tytler

By Renu Mittal in New Delhi
Last updated on: April 10, 2009 20:15 IST
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A day after Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were dropped as candidates for Lok Sabha polls by the Congress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was neither informed nor consulted over CBI's clean chit given to Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

"I was not informed, not consulted" over CBI clean chit to Jagdish Tytler, Dr Singh said on Friday during an interaction with women journalists organised by Indian Women Press Corp in New Delhi.

"Congress decision to cancel tickets to Tytler and Kumar shows party's sensitivity to Sikh sentiments," he said, adding, "Better late than never".

The action against Tytler came with the Congress fearing a Sikh backlash in the elections as the issue came under spotight with a Sikh journalist lobbing a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram at a press conference on Tuesday. He was protesting the clean chit by CBI to Tytler in the riots cases.

On the Third Front
Dr Singh conceded that the decision of some Congress allies to form a separate front could affect the electoral outcome and said the Left parties and the Third Front were "unwittingly" helping the BJP.

"I would like the Samajwadi Party and Lok Janshakti Party to work together (with Congress). This could affect the electoral outcome to some extent," he told media persons.

He said he sincerely thought that the Left parties and Third Front would not be in a position to form a Government.

"Unwittingly the Left Parties and the Third Front are strengthening the BJP", Dr Singh said.

Congress allies RJD, LJP and SP have formed a front and are contesting against Congress in 134 constituencies in UP, Bihar and Jharkhand. Erstwhile allies Left parties have teamed up with a number of regional parties to form the Third Front on an anti-Congress, anti-BJP platform.

On Nuclear Deal
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the first time revealed that he would have resigned as the prime minister of the country if the nuclear deal had not gone through.

Speaking to women journalists in an hour-long interaction in New Delhi, Dr Singh said that the one moment when he felt he could resign during his five years in office was "if the nuclear deal had not gone through I would have resigned. I made that clear to all concerned."

It was evident that of all the issues, which dominated his five years in power, it was the nuclear deal that preoccupied his mind to a large extent.

He said that the toughest moment during his prime ministership was to "get the nuclear deal though" and the greatest satisfaction he had during this period was when the nuclear deal was successfully completed.

Dr Singh, who single-handedly pushed the deal, said that India's honour was at stake on the nuclear deal as for three long years they had been negotiating the deal and if India had backed off at the last minute, it would have sent a bad impression through the would.

He said, "To save India's honour, I staked my reputation".

Additional Reportage: PTI

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Renu Mittal in New Delhi