Mayawati, Left, regional parties to hold nationwide stir


New Delhi : The morning after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government won the trust vote in parliament, opposition parties, including the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Left and other political formations, Wednesday got together and vowed to launch a national campaign on key issues.

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“The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government may have won the trust vote but the way it was saved showed the vote was a murder and defeat of democracy,” said agitated BSP leader Mayawati.

Her new-found ally, the Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat, reiterated that the government had “lost the trust of the nation” by the “immoral manner in which they engineered the win”.

“We have formed a national level committee to campaign against pressing issues. This includes relentless price rise and inflation, farmers’ suicides, the India-US nuclear deal, communal forces and the politicisation of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation),” said Karat.

Also present in the breakfast meeting were Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh, Janata Dal-Secular chief and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, leaders from the Indian National Lok Dal and other Left parties including the Forward Bloc, CPI and the Revolutionary Socialist Party.

Naidu said the opposition would have won Tuesday’s trust vote if the UPA had not “engineered abstentions, cross-voting and manipulating the vote”. One of his MPs voted for the UPA while another abstained.

“Technically it is bad for the nation. When elections are due, they (UPA) have to face the public,” said Naidu.

In the high-voltage political drama leading up to the trust vote, Mayawati has been the rallying point for the opposition parties including the smaller political formations who vowed to bring down the UPA government.

Ajit Singh said the coming together of political parties would provide an alternative to the UPA and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“This will create a real (alternate) force in the country to the UPA and expose the so-called opposition that cooperated in the trust vote,” he said.