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Left has no existence beyond 3 states, says Pranab

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 24, 2009 21:02 IST
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Senior Congress leader and Union External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that his party had never sought the help of the Left parties to form the government at the Centre, but it was they who had extended support in 2004.

"Who sought the help of Left parties? We never asked the Left parties for support. In 2004, to keep the BJP from coming to power and to keep their existence alive, the Left parties supported us," Mukherjee, told election rallies in Burdwan district.

He also took a dig at the Third Front, saying that the Communist Party of India-Marxist was dreaming of forming a government at the Centre.

"We have decided on Manmohan Singh as the prime ministerial candidate. The NDA (National Democratic Alliance) has L K Advani. Who will be the PM of the Third Front?" he asked.

The Left parties, he said, had no existence beyond three states. "At other places you have to look for them with a telescope. How will they run a government?" he asked.

Stating that the Left parties had withdrawn support to the United Progressive Alliance government over the civil nuclear deal, Mukherjee said, "We have been running the government for a year since then. They left citing the signing of the nuclear deal. When the cost of petrol and diesel are rising and the coal found in the country is not good, nuclear power is necessary."

"What about the 30 crore people who have no access to electricity?" he asked. He said despite apprehensions on India's sovereignty over the nuclear deal by the Left parties, "We want similar agreements with the UK, Russia and France, besides the US," Mukherjee said.

On the alliance between the Congress and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Mukherjee said, "The comrades are afraid of this."

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