The Left parties on Friday wrote to the government seeking a definite answer by July 7 on whether it is approaching the IAEA for the India-specific safeguards agreement.
Indications from the Left, however, point to actual withdrawal of support coming between July 9 — when the PM returns from Japan — and 14, the day it launches its nationwide campaign against the government.
“We wish to know definitely whether the government is proceeding to seek the approval of the safeguards agreement by the
Board of Governors of the IAEA. Please let us know the position by July 7, 2008,” said the letter, addressed to External Affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, signed by the general secretaries of the four Left parties — CPM, CPI, AIFB and RSP. Mukherjee is also the convener of the UPA-Left committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Asked about their next step after the meeting of Left leaders, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said the group “will wait for the government’s response”.
Later, CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the withdrawal would not come when the PM is at the G8 summit. “We have always been considerate and very reasonable. We have kept the dignity of the PM’s office and the nation in mind. The Left will not take any step when he is there (in Japan).”
Asked what would the Left’s response be if the government asks for time beyond July 7, he said: “We will cross the bridge when we reach it and not move on the basis of speculation.”
The decision to launch the campaign was also taken at today’s meeting. The Left will “go to the people to explain their opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal, against the government’s refusal to take appropriate measures to tackle the runaway inflation, backbreaking price rise and against all anti-people policies,” Karat announced after the meeting.