No problems with Left

New Delhi, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 07:40am hrs
The Lefts constant fulminations notwithstanding, Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday maintained that there is no serious problem so far with the communist parties, which have extended outside support to the Congress-led UPA government.

Ms Gandhis claims came even as Left leaders, especially CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat sharply upped the ante against the Manmohan Singh establishment on the Iran vote issue, threatening to put the government in the dock in Parliament if it refuses to accede to their demand.

On Monday, the Left along with the SP had held a joint rally in Lucknow attacking the UPA on the issue. They had earlier pulled out of the UPA-Left coordination panel on the Bhel issue, returning after a four-month period only when the government junked the issue.

Ms Gandhi, however, attempted to downplay differences with the Left, contending that all issues are being resolved through dialogue and consultations. A lot of it is exaggerated by media. After all, you have to be in business and we are the provider of business, she said.

Adding in defence of her contention further, she said that while problems did occur in all coalitions including the previous one, the UPA had not faced a serious problem through which one could get an impression that things are not stable.

Ms Gandhi maintained that mechanisms had been devised between the UPA and the Congress to meet regularly. The Left and other partners meet with the PM, with us. There should absolutely be no fear, she said.

Replying to a question about economic reforms, she said that the Congress is now working in a coalition. There are some differences here and there, but there is a wide agenda for reforms in our common minimum programme to which we are all committed... We shall all follow it and not go back on it, she said. We are committed to economic reforms and there is no way we would go back on reforms, she added. In response to her formulations, CPI national secretary D Raja refused to fully endorse her contention that reforms were a one-way process. The government must first ensure that the reforms process is in the interest of poor, he said.