Union Minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh Sunday said here that he was not in favour of his party extending support to the third front from outside, rather he wanted the party to be a part of the government.
Asked if the Congress would support the third front if both UPA and NDA fail to win a majority, Ramesh initially dismissed the question, but later said: “I think the Congress party’s policy has always been that we will support any political combination that demonstrates commitment to secular values, which means basically the parties not wedded to BJP.
“That’s what we did in 1996 (extending outside support to the United Front government). But as of now, I can’t say….depends on the relative numbers,” he said in an interview to PTI here. “The ideal situation should be no outside support,” Ramesh said. “I believe if you support a government, you must support from within. These are my personal views….to ensure political stability, any alliance must have all its partners in governance”.
In UPA-I, Ramesh said, CPM and CPI “made life miserable for us”. Quoting senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury’s reported statement at the time that the left parties “bark but don’t bite”, Ramesh said, “But sometimes barking is also bad… constantly being barked at. CPM and CPI didn’t bite but they bit at the end…they withdrew support on the nuclear deal.”
Earlier, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan had said Congress could form the next government by joining hands with the third front, while Union Minister Salman Khurshid had said it could consider supporting a third front.
Nitish’s chopper makes emergency landing in bihar
Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had a providential escape Sunday when his helicopter was caught in a raging storm and was forced to make emergency landing at Sonbarsa Raj in Saharsa district.
The incident occurred after the helicopter took off from Sonbarsa Raj, where he had gone to address a rally, to fly to Madhepura to address another rally, Saharsa SP Sunil Kumar Nayak said.
“The storm continued for almost an hour from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm. The helicopter in which he was flying to Madhepura was trapped in the storm. The pilot somehow managed to make emergency landing at the place he flew from,” Nayak said. The winds made the helicopter sway for several minutes before it could land. Kumar and his co-fliers escaped unhurt, the police said.