The Left said on Sunday that its stand on the Indo-US nuclear deal remaines unchanged despite former president APJ Abdul Kalam endorsing the deal and PM Manmohan Singh urging the Left, among others, to "listen to voices of wisdom."
Reacting to PM Manmohan Singh's remarks that the Left should listen to the Kalam's "voice of wisdom" on the nuclear deal, CPI General Secretary AB Bardhan said the Left has great respect for Kalam. "But just as he has words of wisdom, others in the country have given us words of wisdom too. Having weighed his words carefully, we came to the conclusion that there is no change in our stand," he said shortly after the party's two-day national executive meeting concluded.
The Left parties stand on the nuclear deal remains unchanged, Bardhan said and made it clear that the May 28 meeting is unlikely to yield anything more than some discussions over tea. "We will meet the UPA to tell them about our stand and that remains unchanged," he said. "We can discuss it as many times as they want but our stand will not change," he asserted.
Asked if he would congratulate Singh for tabling the women's reservation bill in Parliament, Badhan shot back saying: "Why should he be complimented for bringing the bill at the fag end of his tenure, when it was promised in the common minimum programme?"
The Left parties are beginning to feel embarrassed about supporting a government that continues to ignore their demands on price rise while inflation continues to soar. In what appears to be a bid to counter the embarrassment, they are likely to issue another warning soon to the ruling UPA government for its failure to control prices.
"Taking into account government's failure in controlling inflation and its stand on the nuclear deal, the Left parties will take some stand which is serious," Bardhan said.
The Left parties are slated to meet on May 23, ahead of their ninth meeting with the UPA, on the Indo-US nuclear deal. The CPI will bring up the matter at the meeting, he said. Bardhan said: "the general attitude of the Left parties towards UPA was discussed, mainly in the context of price rise and the deal. Several sections and Left followers have started raising questions whether it is worthwhile to support a government which opposes the views of its supporters. We are thinking very seriously on those lines. I'm sure, the Left parties will take some stand which is serious."