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"Karnataka ruling allies pulling in different directions"

Wednesday 29 June 2005

Special Correspondent

"No meeting of hearts and minds" between the Left and the Congress, says Venkaiah Naidu

UPA Government is "fragile" "Congress never had conviction in coalition dharma" "War of statements on Sethu project not in the interests of Centre or State Government"

CHENNAI: Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday predicted trouble for the Congress-led Karnataka Government.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Naidu, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, said, "While Chief Minister [N.] Dharam Singh is moving in one direction, his deputy, Siddaramaiah, is moving in another direction. Interesting developments are going to take place there shortly. The Government may fall and mid-term polls may be held."

The BJP leader, however, refused to elaborate on the "interesting developments."

"When did they have honeymoon?"

Referring to the Left decision to suspend participation in coordination committee meetings with the United Progressive Alliance, he said this only exposed the "fragility" of the UPA Government. "Some political pundits say the honeymoon is over. My question is: when did they have the honeymoon?"

When the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was in power, there was "complete trust" among its constituents. But now, between the Left and the Congress, there had been "no meeting of hearts and minds," particularly on economic issues, from the beginning.

The Congress did not have conviction in the "principle of coalition dharma." The Left just wanted power, "that too, veto power," with no responsibility. Their (Leftist parties) voice against certain decisions has become louder. They may be doing this for the audience in Kerala and West Bengal [where Assembly elections are due next year]. But we do not want it to happen that way."

Motion on price rice

The BJP was contemplating moving a motion on the issue of price rise during the monsoon session of Parliament. "We will take a decision on this after consulting our allies." When the motion came up for debate, it would be known whether the Left was genuinely interested in public issues.

Referring to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s concerns on the Sethusamudram canal project, the BJP leader said he hoped that the Centre would address them.

Alluding to the war of statements between her and Union Shipping Minister T.R. Baalu on the project, he said, "It is not in the interests of the Centre and the State Government to accuse each other."

Saying "the project is good for the State and the country," he noted that the NDA Government initiated and completed all preliminary works.

See online : The Hindu

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