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CPI-M sticks to its hard-line on N-deal

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
August 23, 2007 19:46 IST
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Authorising the politburo to take whatever steps necessary in the Indo-US nuclear deal stalemate, the two-day Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s Central Committee warned the United Progressive Alliance government against implementing the deal.               

"The meeting decided to leave it to the politburo if the government went ahead with the deal," CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat told a press conference, which was also attended by journalists from leading American media agencies.

"The Central Committee does not want the current crisis to affect the government," the party said in a resolution that was unanimously passed.

"When I said unanimous, I mean it," Karat shot back when a reporter asked him if there was any difference of opinions at the meet.

Karat refused to note a specific date for pulling down the government.

"Let the deal become operational, then we will decide," he said. He did not see any problem with the chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission going abroad for attending a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Association in Vienna.

About Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comments that if winter is there, can spring be far behind, Karat said, "I hope there will be no nuclear fission and there is a long nuclear winter."

Karat welcomed a debate in Parliament on the nuclear deal.

"It will show how many members are in favour of the government and how many are against it," he said.

Asked if the government had responded to the suggestion by Left parties to set up a mechanism to discuss their objections, Karat said, "So far, there has been no response but the party is prepared to wait. In fact it is the Congress party which has to respond."

According to a party statement, the CPI-M and other Left parties would explain their position from September 4-8 when they start their protest against joint naval exercises.

"It is a fact that majority are opposed to the agreement. That alone should make the government pause and not proceed with next steps. It is incumbent on the government to heed voices of opposition and examine objections and clear the implications of the Hyde Act," the resolution said.

With PTI inputs


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Onkar Singh in New Delhi