Amar Singh tells CPI-M not to strengthen ‘communal forces’

July 1st, 2008 - 4:49 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Seen as crucial to solving the political imbroglio over the India-US nuclear deal, the Samajwadi Party Tuesday told the CPI-M not to do anything that would strengthen “communal forces” and said it did not see anyone as an “enemy”. Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh, who met Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, said his party was willing to consider “new facts” on the nuclear deal.

The Samajwadi Party has 39 MPs in the Lok Sabha and could end up playing a key role if the Left withdraws legislative support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

In significant remarks, Amar Singh said after his meeting with Karat and Yechury that his party did not consider anyone an “enemy” — indicating it was ready to do business with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, if necessary.

He said he requested Karat not to “strengthen communal forces” — an appeal that amounted to urging the CPI-M not to stop supporting the government over the nuclear row.

CPI-M insiders said that its leaders tried to persuade Amar Singh against backing the nuclear deal.

The leaders are believed to have reminded Amar Singh that his party was in the forefront against “imperialist forces”.

While the Left leaders wooed the Samajwadi Party, the government was also anxious to win over it.

The government is slated to give a presentation on the deal to the Samajwadi Party Wednesday, when Amar Singh meets National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan.

Although there were signs of warming up to the Congress, Amar Singh maintained: “There is no (political) crisis now. When it comes, we will talk about it (extending support to the government).”

The Samajwadi Party leader had held an-hour-long meeting with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Monday night, soon after he arrived from the US.

The UPA, cornered by threats that the Left would withdraw support if it went ahead with the nuclear deal, is desperately looking at the Samajwadi Party to ward off early polls.

The Communists have asked the government not to finalise the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a move crucial to carry forward the 123 agreement with the US.

While Amar Singh negotiated with Left leaders, party chief Mulayam Singh discussed the political scenario with his senior colleagues.

He refused to give a clear reply to questions over the party’s stand on the nuclear deal. “We have not read the document (123 agreement with Washington).”

But significantly he also said: “We do not have any enemies. In politics, one has to talk to others.” And he added: “The Congress is not an untouchable.”

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