The Left parties’ were guarded but positive in their reactions to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's statements at the HT Leadership Summit on Friday.
First the PM and then Sonia virtually ended the speculation of early elections when they said that the UPA would complete its full term as it has unfinished business to complete. The UPA and the Left has been sparring over their differences on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal for more than two months now.
While the Left had categorically told the UPA not make the deal operational, the latter, till Friday, seemed determined to go to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to start negotiating about India-specific safeguards.
Friday’s statements by the PM and Sonia seemed to have, at least temporarily, hinted that the government would not take that step.
CPM’s central committee member Nilotpal Basu told HT that it was good that “they (the UPA) have reiterated principles of a coalition.” Earlier, politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the prime minister’s statements were in tune with the understanding with
“What the PM said on Friday converges with that sort of an understanding which is good. We will continue our efforts at the next meeting, which is on October 22,” Yechury said.
A.B. Bardhan, CPI general secretary, said the statements were positive but what the government finally does remains to be seen. He said that it seems the government has finally realised that the nuclear deal was not the only issue in the country.
A senior CPM leader added it appears that the UPA has understood that it cannot go to the people on the nuclear issue. “They seemed to have realised that a vote cannot be forced on this issue and there is no point in sacrificing the government for the deal,” the leader said.
Rajya Sabha member of RSP, Abani Roy, said, “what they (PM and Sonia) have said today is good but they would have to give it to us in writing. The same stance could have been conveyed to the UPA-Left political committee.”