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Congress seeks to reach out to Left

Last Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 - 22:40

New Delhi: With Narendra Modi`s anointment as BJP`s prime ministerial candidate, Congress on Friday sought to reach out to like minded parties including the Left, underlining that communalism has emerged as the "biggest threat" to Indian democracy.

Replying to a volley of questions including whether the Congress sees the Left parties as "natural and prospective allies" in the current political situation, party spokesman P C Chacko told reporters that the Communist parties had all along had a "consistent" stand on communalism.

"With all our differences, one point I have to agree that on communalism, the Left parties have always been opposed to it... To that extent we are close," he said, adding "communalism has emerged as the biggest threat to Indian democracy."

At the same time, he said that if the Congress has something in common with other like minded parties, that does not mean political alliances.

Left parties were dependable allies of the Congress-led UPA till they withdrew support in 2008 on the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal. The Left parties were supporting the Congress on the basis of a Common Minimum Programme.

A senior party leader, who declined to be identified, said if options are available, the Congress would like to have the support of both the Left and the Trinamool Congress. He said secular forces coming together is bound to happen.

Replying to a question on CBI closing the disproportionate assets case against SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, he downplayed the development saying "If investigation agencies do not find any evidence, what can we do."

To another question, he said in a lighter vein that it was a quid pro quo for communal harmony. He reminded the questioner that the SP was supporting the UPA earlier also when the case was going on.

"Freedom of expression is fundamental to all," he said sidestepping a question that Mulayam had alleged earlier that government used CBI as a political weapon against its detractors.

PTI



First Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 - 22:40

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