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Do not rely on the Left: Advani

Special Correspondent

Warns against "vindictive policy" towards previous BJP-led Government

NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president L.K. Advani on Wednesday warned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against depending on Left support and adopting a "vindictive policy" towards the previous Government. The Left, he claimed, would prove a liability in achieving double-digit economic growth, while the policy of vendetta would come back to "bite" the Government.

The BJP was willing to support the Government in any reform for economic progress. "However, the Government must demonstrate that it respects the role of the Opposition and create an atmosphere conducive to the Opposition to partner the Government in important national decisions."

"A liability"

Addressing the national conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry here, he said, "In the national interest, I wish to caution Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh that your dependence on communist support will prove to be a liability for anything good you may wish to do." The first thing India must do to achieve "double-digit inclusive growth" was to marginalise the ideological and political influence of the Communists, as their policies would deliver neither inclusive growth nor double-digit growth.

Mr. Advani said it was "ironic" that those whose dogmatic policies were a prescription for increasing poverty, perpetuating backwardness and promoting corruption and bureaucracy should be talking about "inclusive growth."

"Contrary to the propaganda of our Communists here, the Soviet Union never achieved high growth nor banished want." Referring to China in the context of the debate on double-digit growth, he said if it had achieved impressive economic growth over a sustained period, it was only by implementing policy reforms, which the Communists in India had opposed and were continuing to oppose.

The BJP president's second suggestion to Dr. Singh also "in the national interest," was that he should not fall prey to the politics of vindictiveness, negativism and confrontation. Pointing out that the NDA Government had not denigrated its predecessor, he said he was sad that the ruling party did not reciprocate. "The NDA is constantly being run down." This "political ill-liberalism" was leading the Government to a policy of vindictiveness.

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