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I have no problems with Manmohan the individual, says Buddha

April 24, 2009 14:43 IST

Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat may have ruled out supporting the Congress after elections but West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has hinted that all options are open after the elections.

In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, Bhattacharjee said, "We are not committing anything. We are now busy with the task to defeat both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. After elections, when the situation will arise, we will discuss on the concrete situation at that time. Not now."

Mr Bhattacharjee however added that 2009 was not the same as 2004. "History does not repeat itself. What happened in 2004, I don't think its going to get repeated again," he said.

Bhattacharjee did not rule out the possibility of the Left joining the government after elections. "After 1996, when we rejected the idea of Jyoti babu taking over as Prime Minister, after that we had a debate inside the party. In our party conferences we decided that in no case are we going to join the Central government. We discussed and decided that if the situation demands and if we can play a meaningful role in the government, then we have to think over and we may join this government."

Bhattacharjee said that although he had differences with the policies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he had no problem with Manmohan the individual.

"It is not the question of an individual. It is a question of policies. Americans are trying to take us under their umbrella and we are going for a strategic partnership with the United States- economic, political and military. This is dangerous. The Left will never support this position. I have differences with the Prime Minister on these issues. Not as an individual. He is a knowledgeable economist and a man of integrity but his pro-American policies I do not like," Buddha said.

On being asked if he saw himself as a potential Prime Minister of a Third Front government, the West Bengal CM said, "Of course not. I am not in the queue. I am happy with the situation in West Bengal, to perform here. I am not going to join national politics. This is my individual opinion."