New Delhi, Feb. 21: The CPM is hoping the Centre will not dismiss the Uttar Pradesh government so that they do not have to choose between Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sonia Gandhi in Parliament.
Left leaders today said they did not expect the Congress to go ahead with the dismissal in view of strong opposition from its most crucial allies. Also, they said, the Congress does not stand to make any big gains by pushing through such a controversial decision.
“We will not support Article 356 on the floor of the House,” a Left leader said. This means the Congress will have to take the support of the BJP to push through the dismissal. “How can the Congress take the BJP’s support'” a Left leader asked.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had called up CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan and sought his opinion. Sources said Sonia favoured dismissal, but Bardhan cautioned that she would find it difficult to push through such a decision in Parliament.
Yesterday, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat had warned Manmohan Singh of a “serious political breach” if President’s rule was imposed.
It is not that the CPM has never supported the dismissal of an elected government. The party had worked for the sacking of the Kalyan Singh government in Uttar Pradesh after the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition. The CPM in Bengal has recommended a law that will enable the government to dismiss elected panchayats.
Karat, however, insists it is a matter of principle for the party not to support Article 356 in its present form.
Politically, the CPM would rather side with the Congress than Mulayam. The Left has a good equation with Manmohan Singh and Sonia. But the CPM thinks Mulayam is best poised to fight the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and would like to ke-ep its channels open with him.
The Left will, however, not pull down the Manmohan Singh government even if Mulayam is dismissed.
In Calcutta, Karat parried questions whether the Left would withdraw support to the Centre or vote against it. “The Prime Minister told me that Congress has not decided as yet. We have made our position known to him,” he said.
Reacting to Mulayam withdrawing support to the Centre, Karat said that would not affect its stability. “They (UPA) have majority.”