Not only will the Left withdraw support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government if it goes ahead with the safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it could even vote against the government if a no-confidence motion is moved against it in Parliament, Left sources said on Friday.
<b1>“Our stand is clear — the government cannot proceed [on the nuclear deal with the US]. By June 25, we will know what their decision is and we will convey ours,” a Left leader told Hindustan Times.
Asked if the Left would vote against the government in Parliament after withdrawing support, he said: “If we disassociate ourselves from the government, we will be on the other side.”
The latest inflation figure of 11.05 per cent has given the Left more ammunition to target the government for its ‘neo-liberal’ policies that it dubs ‘anti-people’.
The CPM Central Committee issued a statement saying: “The Manmohan Singh government is squarely responsible for this dismal situation. It cannot escape by blaming global inflation.”
The Left has progressively hardened its stance after the June 18 UPA-Left committee meeting on the nuclear deal was postponed by a week.
Left leaders, though, continue to meet UPA allies and stall the government’s plan to go ahead with the deal. CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat met Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in the morning and External Affairs Minister Pranab Muhkerjee in the evening. In the last two days, Left leaders have met several UPA leaders. “We are talking to all UPA allies. They are not allies of the Congress alone; they are our allies also,” CPI National Secretary D Raja said.
Speaking at a seminar, Karat said: “I am… hoping the government completes its term. We are making serious efforts.”