Left gives July 7 deadline to government (Lead)

July 4th, 2008 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) The Left parties Friday asked the government to make it clear by July 7 if it was seeking the approval of the IAEA’s board of governors for the India-specific safeguards agreement to take forward the India-US nuclear deal. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and its three allies made the demand in a joint letter to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the convenor of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-Left nuclear panel.

“We wish to know definitely whether the government is proceeding to seek the approval of the safeguards agreement by the board of governor of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency),” said the letter signed by leaders of four parties.

“Please let us know the position by July 7,” they said, in what is seen as a deadline to the government for the Left to decide on withdrawing its support to the ruling coalition.

The letter has been signed by general secretaries Prakash Karat (CPI-M), A.B. Bardhan (Communist Party of India), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc) and T.J. Chandrachoodan (Revolutionary Socialist Party).

The Left also said that it will launch a campaign from July 14 against the nuclear deal as well as the government’s failure to control runaway inflation and “all anti-people policies”.

The Left’s belligerence came as Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and prepared to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi in moves aimed at propping the UPA government if and when the Left walks away.

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