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Left for Lok Sabha member as PM

Left for Lok Sabha member as PM

Author: PTI
Publication: The Hindu
Date: April 27, 2009
URL: http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/27/stories/2009042757440100.htm

Karat: right aspirant will be decided if we are in a position to form government

Apparently taking a dig at Manmohan Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member, CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat has said that after the elections the Left parties will back a Lok Sabha member for the post of Prime Minister.

Ruling himself out of the prime ministerial race, Mr. Karat said, "the right candidate will be decided if the Third Front is in a position to form a government and the Congress should support it the way we did in 2004."

"We have seen Rajya Sabha members becoming Prime Ministers. This time we will definitely work towards making a Lok Sabha leader the next Prime Minister," Mr. Karat told News 24 channel.

He said there was no prime ministerial candidate from the Left, as of now, and even a Third Front candidate would be decided once the election results were out.

Refusing to be drawn into a Mayawati vs. Jayalalithaa debate, Mr. Karat said the AIADMK leader had not yet indicated her inclination for the Prime Minister's post.

"The BSP is the only party which has projected its leader for the PM's job. All Third Front leaders, including Chandrababu Naidu and H.D. Deve Gowda, are clear on this issue. Ms. Jayalalithaa has also not given any such indication," he said.

Mr. Karat, whose party withdrew support to the Congress-led UPA government in July last year over the India-United States nuclear deal, said the Congress should offer to support a Third Front government if it wanted to play a "positive" role in government formation.

He said:

"After the elections, the Congress will have to decide what role they will play in formation of a secular government.

As the coalition around Congress has fallen apart, they should support us the way we supported them in 2004, if such a situation arises."

Mr. Karat said on Saturday the Left parties would not be averse to taking the Congress' support from outside for a possible Third Front government.

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