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Bengal Left’s soft line may prevail

The two-day CPI-M Central Committee meeting beginning Wednesday in New Delhi to discuss the standoff between the UPA and Left over the nuclear deal is set to witness heated debates between the Bengal-Tripura apparatchiks and comrades from Kerala and North India.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2007 05:37 IST
Arindam Sarkar

The two-day CPI-M Central Committee meeting beginning Wednesday in New Delhi to discuss the standoff between the UPA and Left over the nuclear deal is set to witness heated debates between the Bengal-Tripura apparatchiks and comrades from Kerala and North India.

Party members from Bengal and Tripura are expected to go hammer and sickle against the UPA government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for “unilaterally violating the Common Minimum Programme”. But they do not support the idea of bringing down the government and going in for a mid-term poll.

In contrast, CPM hawks from North India and Kerala want to teach the UPA leaders a lesson and threaten early polls. They are unhappy with the UPA for riding roughshod on the Left on several occasions, such as hiking the prices of petrol, kerosene and gas despite opposition.

However, it is the Bengal line of putting the nuclear deal on the backburner and holding discussions in Parliament without going for voting that is expected to win the day. What has strengthened the Bengal line is that CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and politburo member Sitaram Yechury have stepped down from their hard-line position to the Bengal line. “It is not in the CPM’s interest to destabilise the government. But the PM cannot impose his decisions on the Left,” said CPM Central Committee member Nilotpal Basu.