Left ends support, Karat wants IAEA document made public (Lead)

July 9th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left parties Wednesday formally withdrew their legislative support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government over the India-US nuclear deal and dared it to make the IAEA India-specific safeguards pact public. Taking a stridently aggressive line, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat accused the government of “violating the trust” of the Left and of having “insulted” the Communists over the contentious nuclear deal.

Karat said the Manmohan Singh government was “callous to the suffering of the people” but eager “to pay priority to the commitments made to President (George W.) Bush and not to the (Indian) people”.

Karat and leaders of the Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc addressed the media at the CPI-M headquarters after submitting a letter to President Pratibha Patil withdrawing their four years of support to the Congress-led coalition government.

The Left leaders requested the president to direct Manmohan Singh to prove the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) majority immediately saying it had turned to be “a minority government minus the Left.”

Karat, who was visibly agitated unlike any time before, questioned the government’s argument that the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was a “privileged classified document.”

“We would like to know who has declared this to be a classified document? Is this the UPA government decision to classify or the secretariat of the IAEA?

“This is the text which is going to bind us in perpetuity, our nuclear reactors will be placed under safeguards in perpetuity. And that text is being hidden from the people of this country.”

Accusing the Manmohan Singh government and the Congress leadership of always looking up to the US, he urged them to learn “some good things from them”.

“The US government is at present negotiating an additional protocol with the IAEA. That protocol has not yet been approved by the Board of Governors of the IAEA. You can look up the text on the Internet if you want.

“The Bush administration has made it available to the Congress. Are we to we to believe that the IAEA has one standard for the US and another for India? No text of this sort is confidential or classified unless the Indian government has asked for it…

“If the government has any credibility, our nuclear scientists, our experts and our people must have access to this document,” he said.

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