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'Every ally has the right to exert pressure': Sriprakash Jaiswal

November 8, 2011 - New Delhi

With Trinamool Congress (TMC) lawmakers all set to meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to seek greater coordination between the UPA Government and its allies, Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Tuesday said that putting pressure on the ruling government was the right and duty of every coalition partner.

"Every ally has the right to exert pressure. If she (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) has extended support in running the government then she has the right to exert pressure on the Central Government so that the problems affecting her state are looked into. We believe that by exerting legitimate pressure (on the government), we would try to provide maximum benefit to the people of West Bengal," he said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier threatened to pull out of the UPA alliance, but made a U turn after finding little support from other UPA allies and the Centre ruling out a rollback.

So, it is expected that the Trinamool Congress leaders will in the meeting with the Prime Minister this evening emphasise on better coordination and keeping the allies in the loop of important government decisions.

Jaiswal slammed the critics for undermining the Congress Party's intention over the Lokpal Bill.

"The way the Congress has taken action against corruption and the way Congress has promised to the nation that it would bring an effective Lokpal Bill in the coming Winter Session, I believe that it is troubling a few people. Few people fear that the government might get credit, which they would have got to bring a strong Lokpal Bill, and it would get diluted," he said.

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare had earlier this month written a new letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, warning him that he will begin another hunger strike if the Lokpal Bill is not passed in the Winter Session of Parliament.

The Winter Session of Parliament will begin on November 22 and ends on December 21.

The Lokpal Bill is meant to combat corruption among public servants. But over the recent months, serious differences have emerged between the government and Team Anna with regard to the powers of the Lokpal and the selection of its members.

Further hitting out at the Mayawati Government, Jaiswal said Uttar Pradesh was immersed in corruption and that no development had taken place in the past few years.

"The government which is working in our state (Uttar Pradesh), the freedom fighters would have had never imagined in their dreams that such kind of government could be formed in Uttar Pradesh after country's independence. The state which used to lead the country, the state which was a splendid state of the country, if we see it in terms of it's soil, or if we see the ability of the people to do hard work, from every angle, our state lead. But unfortunately, our state has become the most backward state of the country," he said.


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