PM open to tie-up with Left but n-deal is still hurdle (Lead)

April 15th, 2009 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Leaving the door to a rapprochement wide open, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday that an alliance with the Left after the elections was possible. The Left parties responded saying they were ready but only if the India-US nuclear deal was withdrawn.
“An alliance with Left parties is possible only after the elections,” Manmohan Singh said at an interaction with members of the Editors’ Guild. “Circumstances will decide if we go with the Left.”

In a point he has made earlier, the prime minister said he regretted parting ties with the Left over the nuclear deal. The Left was not part of the UPA but was providing crucial parliamentary support to the government till July last year.

Reacting to the prime minister’s comments, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member M.K. Pandhe said: “They (the Congress) will have to withdraw nuclear deal first. (Only then) we can discuss about a post-poll understanding.”

He said the Left parties were presently working to build a third force in the country against both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“All the parties allied with the Congress have left them. They are now joining us. Supporting a Congress government (after the election) is a hypothetical question,” Pandhe told IANS.

“Manmohan Singh became the prime minister as we extended support. We withdrew the support as they signed the nuclear deal with the US. There is no point of even a discussion on a post-poll alliance till they withdraw the nuclear deal,” said Pandhe, who is also a senior trade union leader.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said the prime minister was speaking different things about the Left at different places and cited Manmohan Singh’s speech in Kerala against the Communists.

Raja said the Left parties forged an alliance with the government on the basis of certain policies. “It (supporting the government) is a question of policy,” he told a television channel.

“He (Manmohan Singh) had made the nuclear deal his personal agenda,” Raja said, adding that the differences with the prime minister were over policies.

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