May 3, 2009

Left saved India from getting 'ruined': Sharad Yadav

3 May 2009, 0238 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Adding to the uncertainty over post-poll alliances, NDA ally JD(U) on Saturday warmed up to Left parties praising their role in not allowing the UPA government to open up certain key sectors of the economy and said the country would have been "ruined" but for the communist parties.
"If the Left parties were not there, the country would have been ruined," JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said at a press conference here on Saturday. Taking strong exception to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attacking the Left Front government in West Bengal for "committing many mistakes", Yadav said the communists played an important role in preventing the UPA governmnent from opening up the insurance and banking sectors.
"The only thing Singh has done during his five years in office is the Indo-US nuclear deal," Yadav said as he accused the UPA government of being responsible for sky-rocketing prices, growing unemployment and a spate of suicide by farmers. Asked why he was suddenly leaning towards the Left, Yadav said, "What I wanted to convey is that the Prime Minister's attack on Left parties is not proper." Seeking to convey that NDA would not require any post-poll support from the Left, the NDA convenor claimed the BJP-led alliance would come to power with a thumping majority.
The bonhomie between JD(U) and the Left was reflected when senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury drove to Yadav's residence here on March 15 for an hour-long meeting. Yadav and Yechury had jointly participated in the student and youth movements after the Emergency in 1970s. Yechury had even campaigned for Yadav when he contested the Jabalpur Lok Sabha seat soon after the Emergency.
On Saturday, Yadav also capped any speculation about Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as the NDA's possible PM candidate. "There is no vacancy (in the prime ministerial post). NDA has decided that L K Advani is its candidate," he said. Yadav's remarks come against the backdrop of statements by a number of BJP leaders that Modi could be the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections.

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