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Third Front, Karat discuss nuke deal

india Updated: Oct 24, 2007 02:29 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A section of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) leaders had an unscheduled meeting with the CPM on Tuesday to discuss latest developments on the economic and political fronts including the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

CPM general secretary Prakash Karat met Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu at 1 pm. Amar Singh, the SP general secretary, and MP Ram Gopal Yadav were also present.

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa was a notable absentee. The UNPA, besides the TDP and SP, includes the Asom Gana Parishad, AIADMK, INLD, MDMK and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha.

The meeting also indicates at the inevitability of elections — it is not a question of if but when. Since the formation of the UNPA earlier this year, the Left, including the CPI, have criticised them for not having an economic and political programme, something on the lines of a 'common minimum programme'. The UNPA and the Left could adopt a joint strategy for the session of Parliament in November on the nuclear deal.

Karat briefed Mulayam and Naidu on the discussions the Left had with the UPA on the deal.

After the meeting, Naidu demanded that the nuclear deal should be discussed in Parliament before the UPA proceeds with it. "Take Parliament approval then proceed further with the deal. It is not a UPA issue anymore it is the nation's issue." He also demanded a JPC on the nuclear issue.