We will ensure n-deal is not through during UPA regime: Karat

July 11th, 2008 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat has vowed that the Left would ensure that the contentious India-US civil nuclear deal does not get “operationalised during the life of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government”. In an interview in the latest issue of the CPI-M mouthpiece ‘People’s Democracy’, Karat reiterated that the four-party Left Front would vote against the government during the floor test, which is expected to take place July 22.

“Our stand, irrespective of what others do, is that the Left will vote against the government for their betrayal of national interests,” Karat said.

Ruling out future alliance with the Congress party, the communist leader said: “One must not forget that the Congress and the UPA are losing ground among the people. This is the political reality. Our recent party congress has made this assessment. If anybody wants to hitch their fortunes with the Congress, that is their business.”

On Friday, after a meeting of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad indicated that there was still scope to work with the communists in future.

Continuing his attack on the government for initially refusing to make public the text of the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the CPI-M general secretary blamed the prime minister for keeping the text secret.

“This is the habit of the Congress whenever it is in government. In 1991 when Manmohan Singh was finance minister in the Narasimha Rao government, the government made an agreement with the IMF for a $5 billion loan. When we asked them what conditionalities have been accepted, they refused to divulge the text of the agreement,” he said in the interview.

“It was the CPI-M which procured the document from Washington and published the full text,” he added.

On the prospects of a third alternative front, Karat said: “It should be based on a common programme of policies alternative to those of the Congress and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and must be forged through joint campaigns and struggles.”

Pointing out that the third grouping, the United National Progressive Alliance, would not last, Karat said: “A third alternative will emerge only when Left and other forces fight on people’s issues and for alternative policies. It is a mistake to link such alternative to some election or other. The field is wide open for the Left to take the initiative to gather other forces.”

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