Left to finalise strategy against UPA policies

May 21st, 2008 - 8:11 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) The Left parties are meeting here Friday, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government celebrates its fourth anniversary, to assess its performance and to finalise their strategy to take on its “wrong policies”. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left parties, which extend a crucial legislative support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in parliament, will review the government’s report card. The communists, who have been opposing the India-US civil nuclear deal, will also discuss the government’s latest note explaining the provisions of the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“We will be assessing the performance of the UPA government on the basis of the common minimum programme (the agenda of governance for the coalition) and we will decide our further course of action against those unkept promises,” Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said.

The Left has been asking the government to ban forward trading in 25 agricultural commodities, place curbs on private companies buying food grains by amending the Essential Commodities Act, universalise public distribution system and restore cuts in the food grain quotas of states.

The Left leader said there will be no change in their stance on the nuclear deal. The UPA-Left nuclear committee, formed to address the concerns expressed by the Left over the nuclear agreement, is holding its eighth meeting May 28.

Although the government was trying to convince the Left that New Delhi should go ahead and “formalise” an India-specific safeguard agreement with the IAEA, the Communists are adamant on their stand against a nuclear pact with Washington.

The Left leaders indicated that there will not be any major development in the eighth meeting too.

“On May 28, the Left will reiterate its stance and will ask for more details. The government has not been able to convince the Left about the deal,” a senior CPI-M leader told IANS.

According to party sources, the Left members will seek further clarifications from the government on the IAEA negotiations, which are almost finalised but yet to be formalised, in the next meeting too. “We are trying to delay the process,” one Left leader, who is a member of the 15-member committee, admitted.

The four parties - CPI-M, CPI, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Forward Bloc - are expected to reiterate their warning that the government would have to face the consequences if it went ahead with the deal despite the Left’s opposition. CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan has also threatened that the government would have to manage without the Left if it went ahead with the nuclear deal.

However, Bardhan has ruled out the possibility of the Left parties moving a no-confidence motion against the government, saying: “You are forgetting that we are nine months away from elections. I don’t see which political party will move a no-confidence motion when elections are round the corner.”

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