Free Press Journal

Ramesh stops short of answering if Cong will back Third Front


jairam ramesh

New Delhi: Congress will work towards a stable, secular and cohesive government at the Centre, senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said today but stopped short of giving a clear reply whether the party will support a Third Front in the wake of a fractured electoral mandate.

“All these questions will become relevant after 5pm on May 16,” Ramesh said when asked if Congress would support a Third Front government.

“What Congress party wants is a stable government, a secular government and a cohesive government–all three are important. This is what Congress party will work towards,” he said.

He claimed UPA I and UPA II were cohesive governments.

“They are as cohesive as any other government,” he said but alleged the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not a cohesive government.

Cohesion demands that all parties share the responsibility for governance, he said at the Indian Women’s Press Corp during an interaction.

He said the UPA government could not create a consensus to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill and suggested the next Lok Sabha must take it up as a priority.

“Samajwadi Party was opposed to it, RJD was opposed to it, certain sections in JD (U) were also opposed to it. I don’t think we were able to create the type of consensus that we were able to create for Land Acquisition Bill or Food Security Bill,” he said.

“We were not able to do it. But we got the bill passed in the Rajya Sabha. I think 16th Lok Sabha must take up the Women’s Reservation Bill as a priority,” the Minister said.