Addressing a meeting of mainly conservative parliamentary deputies, Mr Khasbulatov criticised the radical economic policies of the Yeltsin leadership, which he said had driven people to poverty and spread despair throughout the land. 'You and all people in this country should think over in whose hands they want power to be: do they really want a collective Rasputin?,' he declared. He called for all sides to be given equal access to the media ahead of the poll on 25 April.
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Ruslan Khasbulatov, the powerful chairman of Russia's parliament, called on the people yesterday to rebuff President Boris Yeltsin in a referendum later this month, Reuter writes from Moscow.