KOLKATA: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said that he was happy with the Congress performance in the West Bengal panchayat elections, but he would not offer any instant reactions. “ Unlike instant coffee, there are no instant reactions that can be given,” he said avoiding any comment on the Left’s performance.
Looking visibly pleased he said: “I am happy with the results of the Congress as well as the Trinamool Congress which has done very well. This sort of Opposition is good for democracy”, he said while talking to reporters.
Mr.Mukherjee said that there was need to analyse the election results and the West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief was right now collecting report from various places which will be analysed. “Elections reflect people’s verdict and there is a need for the political parties to analyse the results and then try to take lessons.” He refused to be drawn into any discussion as to whether the results were a verdict on the Left’s land acquisition process.
To a question on the nuclear deal, he said that while he had no idea of what had transpired at the meeting called by the Left parties to discuss the issue among themselves, a UPA-Left meeting has been called on May 28 to discuss the nuclear deal, he said.Food crisis
Earlier inaugurating the annual conference of the National Institute of Personnel Management, he said that in view of the world food crisis, India would need to produce not only for herself but for her neighbours too.
He mentioned that India’s wheat production was 20 million tonnes against a target of 14 million tonnes.
This was revealed at a recent meeting of the group of ministers.
On the conference theme on human capital, he said that while the economy’s rate of growth had to be ensured to absorb more people gainfully, there was also a need to increase investment in education through public-private partnership models.
“Beginnings have already been made through a 11th plan programme to upgrade 309 industrial training institutes in 29 States. This project is likely to be completed by the terminal year of the plan,” he said. (The Hindu)
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