The Left parties on Saturday downplayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's challenge to withdraw their support on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, maintaining that "we are going to oppose it" and "everything should not be linked with pulling down the government".
While senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and CPI's D Raja went roundabout reacting to Singh's statement, their junior allies, RSP and Forward Bloc, were forthright saying the Left support cannot be taken for granted.
Asked whether the Left will withdraw support, Yechury, leader of the CPI(M) in Parliament, said "everything should not be linked with pulling down the government. Our concern is with the nuclear deal. Governments will come and go but the agreement will remain."
Yechury, while taking to reporters in Hyderabad, noted that the Prime Minister's statement was "not in consonance with our viewpoint", while Raja said here in New Delhi that the Left was "not in agreement" with it and "that is why we have asked the government not to operationalise the deal."
All the four parties wanted a debate in Parliament but none of them said that they wanted it under a rule which entails voting. Opposition BJP and the UNPA constituents want the debate to be held under such a rule.
The Left leaders were reacting to Singh's statement bluntly telling them that "it is not possible to renegotiate the deal. It is an honourable deal, the Cabinet has approved it, we cannot go back on it. I told them to do whatever they want to do, if they want to withdraw support, so be it...."