As its threat to break away on the nuclear issue loomed large over the ruling Congress-led coalition, the CPI(M) Politburo meets in the capital on Sunday to work out its political strategy in face of the possibility of early elections and the probable pre- and post-poll scenario.
The meeting, to be attended by all top leaders including the Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, would be held in the backdrop of a situation in which the government is virtually intent on approaching the IAEA to sign the India-specific safeguards agreement, despite the Left warning of breaking away the moment it takes the next step.
The major Left party would be weighing the options of roping in all secular and democratic parties barring the Congress, but with a view to defeat the BJP and the "communal" forces.
In line with the decision of CPI(M)'s Coimbatore Congress, its Central Committee has already empowered the Politburo to take all necessary steps on the deal, which could also include withdrawing support to the UPA government.
The CPI(M) leadership has been in talks not only with other Left parties, but also with the allies of Congress in the UPA as well as the major constituents of the UNPA like Samajwadi Party and the TDP.
Though there are strong indications of the 39-member SP falling in line with the Congress on the nuclear deal, the Left parties are striving hard to woo it back. The UNPA and the SP are expected to take a decision on the issue on July three.
The Politburo meeting of the CPI(M) would be followed almost immediately by meetings of the decision-making bodies of other Left parties -- CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP.
Besides the nuclear deal, the Left parties have been targeting the government on price rise and launching countrywide agitations on the issue.
Setting the pace for the crucial meeting, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat has blamed the Prime Minister for the prevailing political crisis due to his "renewed bid" to move the IAEA for the safeguards agreement.
Asking the government to curb inflation on a "war footing", he has warned that this situation could be exploited by the BJP and other "communal" forces.
"One could only hope that the Congress leadership would realise the serious consequences of pursuing a pro-US line which can only benefit the right-wing communal forces in the country," he said.
The CPI(M) maintains that the safeguards agreement, when approved by the IAEA, would lead to a situation that would make the nuclear deal run on an "auto-pilot" with the US initiating the process at the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group. It feels that the deal would then no longer remain in the hands of the government in New Delhi.