Left says PM forcing them to end support to government(Lead)

July 7th, 2008 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Indian Communist leaders Monday said they had no option but to withdraw their support to the government after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vowed to go ahead with the India-US nuclear deal. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and its three Left allies, which had asked the government to clarify by Monday its stand on the deal, will meet Tuesday morning to decide their next move.

“We have been observing all the proprieties. But the prime minister has flouted it by announcing a major decision out of this country,” Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) general secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan told IANS.

On his way to Japan to attend the G8 summit, where he will meet US President George W. Bush, Manmohan Singh told the media he was ready to go to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to finalise the India-specific safeguards agreement, a crucial step in taking the deal ahead.

He said he was not worried by the crisis triggered after the Communists threatened to stop backing his government if the deal was taken ahead. He added his government was ready to face parliament and prove its majority support.

Communist Party of India (CPI) deputy leader D. Raja said the prime minister had made the statement while External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had called a meeting of the nuclear panel of the Left and the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Thursday.

“What is the meaning of this statement? I must make it clear that if the PM’s position is the government’s position, and if that is so, then the Left parties have no choice but to withdraw support.”

The Left parties had been scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon. After the prime minister’s statement, they advanced the meeting to morning.

Earlier, Debabrata Biswas of the Forward Bloc, the fourth Left party, said the Left parties should go to President Pratibha Patil to submit a letter withdrawing support to the UPA government.

Biswas’ colleague G. Devarajan added: “There is no meeting point at this juncture.”

Chandrachoodan added: “When the government says we need to discuss, the prime minister is publicly announcing that he was going ahead with a deal, which is going to affect our sovereignty and independent foreign policy.”

But Congress general secretary M. Veerappa Moily said: “We hope they (Left) will keep patience till then.”

Some of the Left leaders had said earlier that they would not stop backing the Manmohan Singh government when he is away from India. But Monday’s statement by the prime minister, who returns Wednesday night, might change the situation.

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