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Sunday , November 18 , 2012
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Wary Left frets over FDI vote

- Decision on Mamata motion on hold

Nov. 17: The Left is treading with caution on Mamata Banerjee’s no-trust motion call, unwilling to neither readily join hands with her or reject her appeal outright.

The Left feels a no-trust motion will render redundant its demand for a debate and vote on FDI in retail — on which most parties are opposed to the government — and compel the Samajwadi or the BSP to bail the government out on the ground that there is no other alternative and instability must be avoided.

“Let us see what happens. What is said and what is done could be completely different in the case of the Trinamul Congress,” CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said in New Delhi.

But Bengal CPM secretary and Left Front chairman Biman Bose described Mamata’s plan as “nothing but a gimmick’’.

Yechury expressed doubts over whether Trinamul would indeed pursue a no-confidence motion but he did not have a categorical answer on the Left stand if such an eventuality arose. “We will take a call after analysing the concrete political situation,” Yechury said.

Asked it the CPM would support Mamata’s no-trust motion, Bose said in Calcutta: “The Left parties have already moved a motion in Parliament asking for discussions on retail FDI. So, how does the question of supporting her move arise? We needn’t go along with Trinamul on this.”

Keen to contest charges that the Left is playing second fiddle to the Congress, the group had taken the lead in pressing for a debate and vote on FDI in retail and had calculated that the Trinamul Congress would be compelled to toe the line. The CPM had rushed to submit two notices in both Houses of Parliament to demand an FDI debate that entails voting.

The Left today hinted that Mamata’s announcement on the no-trust motion could end up helping the government.

“The UPA is safe till one of the two parties, SP and BSP, bail it out. One has to see what stand these two parties take. If the government manages to sail through, it will use it to justify all the anti-people economic policies. The government will love to have such a situation,” Yechury said.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta echoed Yechury and wondered whether Trinamul had the numbers to bring a no-confidence motion. Asked whether the CPI would support if approached, he pointed out: “We have not been approached yet.”

Dasgupta, however, said the Left would not be instrumental in saving the government.

The Left also hopes to score a political point, if Mamata gets closer to the BJP in search of support for her no-confidence motion. “If Mamata takes the BJP’s support to move her motion, it will be to our advantage in Bengal, given the huge Muslim vote in the state,” said a CPM leader.

Some CPM leaders said the best-case scenario would be the government surviving with the help of SP or BSP, even if the Left votes against it. “Then we can accuse Mamata of bailing out the government by giving it a longer lifeline,” a CPI leader said.

Like many other parties, the Left too does not like to face an early Lok Sabha poll as it is yet to recover ground in Bengal.