Polls only in 2014, no threat to govt: Chidambaram

Chidambaram

The government is preparing for elections in 2014 and not before, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said here today asserting that there was no threat to its stability.

The government is unperturbed over opposition plans to move motions over issues, including FDI in retail, in the coming session of Parliament as it is confident of support from all allies.

"We are not threatened. The government is completely stable... government will complete its term... government will hold elections in May 2014," Chidambaram said.

Asked if the government apprehends any problem from restive allies like DMK, SP or BSP, he said, "no".

He downplayed the announcement of the first list of candidates for Lok Sabha polls by ally SP yesterday, the senior Congress leader said, "Allies does not mean... they are independent political parties."

When told that SP is a Congress ally and its announcement of candidates is being read as elections could be held early, Chidambaram said, "that does not mean that elections are round the corner. That means parties are preparing well in advance for the May 2014 elections."

In this context, he noted that Congress has also announced a Coordination Committee under Rahul Gandhi and three sub-groups to prepare for elections to be held in 2014.

"That does not mean that elections are round the corner," he said, adding "like any other political party, my party also expects to return to government."

On comments by CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury that the Congress could be planning early elections to cut its losses, Chidambaram quipped, "Yechury may want to cut his losses. We are not planning elections any time before May 2014."

He was asked how the government plans to deal with the opposition motions on FDI in Parliament, including those under rules which entail voting, during the Winter Session beginning on November 22.

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