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Left parties brace for the endgame

india Updated: Jun 27, 2008 00:19 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Jatin Gandhi
Hindustan Times
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A day after the ninth meeting of the Left-UPA Committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal ended on a sour note, the Left block is now reconciled to the inevitability of parting ways with the government, sources said on Thursday.

CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury called on External Affairs minister twice after the committee’s meeting ended on Wednesday evening, once late in the night on Wednesday and then again, on Thursday afternoon. Mukherjee is said to have conveyed to Yechury that the government is likely to go ahead and approach the IAEA board of governors, despite the Left’s opposition and threat to withdraw support.

Left sources said as soon as the government declares it is going ahead, the Left will withdraw support rather than wait for the government to actually go ahead.

In a series of internal meetings within the Left parties lined up in the next fortnight, the communists will weigh their political options for the next Lok Sabha polls. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had met CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat on Wednesday morning, did not commit his support to the Left’s stand, sources said.

Yadav said the UNPA would take a final decision on which way to go. Though the TDP — which is part of the UNPA — has already said it is opposed to the deal, the SP’s non-committal stance has befuddled the Left.

To avoid political isolation on the issue, the Left is preparing to launch a strong campaign against the Congress in the coming Lok Sabha elections. “The multi-pronged campaign will attack the ruling government on various issues.

We will focus on the government’s inability to control inflation and on the fact that it turned a deaf-ear to our suggestions to control prices and of course, going back on its promise of not pursuing the deal,” a source said.

“We (the UPA-Left committee) agreed to meet again and discuss the findings of the committee. There is no point of convincing each other now. The Left position is clear. We think going to the IAEA board is a step towards operationalising the deal. Now, it is for the Congress to decide what they want to do,” CPI national secretary D Raja said.

Another top Left leader said the committee may meet for one final time to submit a report that only says that both sides disagreed on the issue and could not move forward.