Left parties meet, reiterate opposition to n-deal

June 25th, 2008 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Leaders of the four Left parties met Wednesday afternoon ahead of the crucial meet of the Left-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coordination committee on the India-US civilian nuclear deal and reiterated their opposition on the issue. “The Left leaders held a meeting Wednesday and decided that they would not allow the union government to go ahead with the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” a senior Left leader told IANS.

The Left parties’ meeting was attended by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan, CPI national secretary D. Raja, Debabrata Biswas of Forward Bloc and T. J. Chandrachudan of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP).

Bardhan told reporters Wednesday morning: “There is no way the Left can give a green signal for the deal. If there is a new proposal, let the government give it to us.”

He added with a touch of warning: “The government is safe at least till 5 p.m.”

The UPA-Left nuclear committee meeting, which draws top leaders from both sides, was set to start at 5 p.m. at External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s residence.

The Left leaders are to meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at his residence to discuss the nuclear issue.

Mukherjee represents the UPA government in the Left-UPA coordination committee.

Earlier in the day, Karat had met Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav here to discuss the nuclear deal issue. Yadav later told reporters that he had not made any commitment to the Left and a final decision would be taken by the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), when it meets on July 3.

However, it was too early to say that there was an imminent threat to the Congress-led UPA government. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan said: “The breaking point is not likely today.”

The Left leaders are believed to have asked the government that the prime minister should make a public statement that New Delhi would not go ahead and sign the 123 agreement with Washington, even if it finalised the IAEA India-safeguards pact. The government is not falling for this.

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