Left reissues warning to government on n-deal

February 25th, 2008 - 8:02 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) The Left parties Monday said the ruling coalition would have to choose between the Indo-US nuclear pact and the government, a warning prompted by President Pratibha Patil’s assertion in parliament that she hoped the deal would “become possible”. “The government will have to suffer if they breach the commitment of not going ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal,” Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member M.K. Pandhe told reporters outside the party headquarters.

The CPI-M politburo was meeting at the A.K. Gopalan Bhavan here to finalise the political and organisation report ahead of the party congress in March.

The Left leader was responding to Patil’s reference to the nuclear deal in her maiden address to the joint session of parliament on the first day of the budget session. “It is our hope that civil nuclear cooperation with the US and other friendly countries will become possible,” Patil said in her speech.

Earlier, a smaller ally of the CPI-M warned it would begin consultations with the Left parties to push them to review their support to government.

The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), one of the four Left parties that extend crucial legislative support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, said the Left would not be there to back the government if it took any further step in proceeding with the nuclear agreement.

“The Left parties will not support the government if it takes the deal ahead. It has shown its intentions to go ahead with the ongoing IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) negotiations,” T.J. Chandrachoodan, RSP’s newly elected general secretary, told journalists.

“The Left is of the view that the deal has to be deliberated further. We have to see whether it is good for the people. We are against the government going ahead with the deal,” Chandrachoodan said categorically.

The CPI-M-led Left parties had opposed the nuclear deal with Washington, saying that it would damage India’s independent foreign policy. However, the communists allowed the government to go ahead with the India-specific protocol negotiations with the IAEA with the precondition that the government should get back to them before finalising the deal.

Pointing out that the RSP had been against the nuclear deal and that it had wanted to review the Left’s support to the UPA government even in 2004, the RSP leader said the party would resume its consultations with the other Left partners to push them to reconsider the support.

Chandrachoodan said the UPA government’s decision to allow 10 percent foreign direct investment in mining and the recent fuel price hike also forced them to reconsider their stance.

“We have supported the UPA government to keep the communal forces away. But it has failed in it. In fact, the Congress was playing the ’soft Hindutva’ card in Gujarat,” the RSP chief said. The ruling party had lost the assembly elections in Gujarat.

The RSP, which has also criticised the CPI-M in its political report in its national conference last week, said the communist party should take the initiative in forming a Left Front at the national level before making efforts to form a third front alternative.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |