Left finally withdraws support to UPA government(Second Lead)

July 8th, 2008 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) The Left parties Tuesday withdrew their support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led government after failing to resolve their dragging differences over the India-US nuclear deal. Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat made the announcement here as Manmohan Singh attended the G8 summit in Japan.

Karat said the decision would be formally conveyed to President Pratibha Patil Wednesday afternoon, a day ahead of the prime minister’s return from Japan.

Karat told a news conference that the CPI-M, Communist Party of India (CPI), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Forward Bloc felt the time had come to end their support because of Manmohan Singh’s announcement that his government would soon approach the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take forward the contentious nuclear deal.

“In view of the PM’s announcement, the time has come (to withdraw our support),” Karat said, reading out a letter sent by Left parties to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Karat said no purpose would be served by Thursday’s scheduled Left-UPA nuclear committee meeting because the government had not shared with them the text of the proposed India-specific safeguards agreement to be negotiated with the IAEA.

“Further, (the meeting) is rendered meaningless since the PM while travelling abroad has chosen to announce (that the government will approach) the board of governors (of IAEA) very soon.”

The Congress said in response that it was confident of surviving the crisis without the Left’s 61 MPs.

“We have the numbers and we will prove our majority in the house (Lok Sabha),” Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

Said chief Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi: “We are confident that we will have the (nuclear) deal… Things will go on.”

He added: “They (Left) are isolated on this issue. They are not only isolated but in the exalted company of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).”

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