RSP pushes Left parties to review support for UPA

February 25th, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) A smaller ally of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Monday warned that it would begin consultations with the Left parties to push them to review their support to the government if it went ahead with the contentious India-US nuclear deal. 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 it any further steps were taken on 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 reporters here.

“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 RSP chief pointed out that President Pratibha Patil in her address to the joint parliament session Monday had said that it was her “hope that civil nuclear cooperation with the USA and other friendly countries will become possible”.

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 a 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 wanted to review the Left’s support to the UPA government in 2004 itself, 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 ’soft Hindutva’ card in Gujarat,” the RSP chief said. The ruling party had lost assembly elections in Gujarat.

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

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