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No compromise on nuclear deal, says Basu

Amidst conflicting reports about the party’s stand on the Indo-US deal, veteran CPM leader Jyoti Basu rules out any “compromise” with the Govt over the deal, reports Tanmay Chatterjee.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2007 02:28 IST

Amidst conflicting reports about the party’s stand on the India-US nuclear deal, veteran CPM leader Jyoti Basu on Saturday ruled out any “compromise” with the government over the deal.

“We cannot compromise. Let us see what the Congress does and then we shall take a decision,” Basu told mediapersons during the CPM’s three-day Central Committee meeting which began here on Saturday.

<b1>The CPM patriarch’s comments came amidst reports that leaders from the Bengal unit of the party were not in agreement with the “hardline” stand adopted by the central leadership on the nuclear deal and did not favour withdrawal of support to the UPA government at the Centre.

Basu said he had a discussion with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the convenor of the UPA-Left committee on the nuclear agreement, on Friday, in view of the upcoming October 5 meeting of the committee.

“I have told him (Mukherjee) that you are convening the meeting so you should know that we cannot compromise on the issue,” Basu said. The committee will hold another meeting later next month.

Basu said the CPM Central Committee was discussing party general secretary Prakash Karat’s report on the issue.

Asked whether his party had decided whether to go for a direct confrontation with the Congress or give it more time to carry out talks, Basu said, “How can I answer that now? Our Politburo and CC members have unanimously taken their decision. The CC is also discussing the policies of the UPA Government drafted in the Common Minimum Programme. The government is not following any of that.”

Meanwhile, a PTI report from New York said the Bush administration is prepared to work towards the operationalisation of the nuclear deal when New Delhi is ready.