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'Govt won't fall if Left withdraws support'

The CPI indicates that even if the Left withdraws support to the UPA Govt over the N-deal, the outside supporters would not bring it down.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 15, 2008 12:28 PM IST

The CPI has indicated that in the event of the Left withdrawing support to the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal, the outside supporters would not bring it down.

The CPI General Secretary, AB Bardhan, however evaded direct replies to questions on whether the Left would move a no-confidence motion or support one moved by BJP against the government.

"That we will think at that time," he said when asked whether the Left would move such a motion. Asked whether they would support one moved by BJP, he said "I don't think anything of that sort will happen. If the government is reduced to a minority, I think it will dissolve the House."

In an interview to Karan Thapar on his programme 'Devil's Advocate', the CPI leader said if the Left withdrew support, "whether the government is reduced to a minority and continues or not, it is for Parliament to see."

He said there was also a possibility before the government "whether it would dissolve Parliament and become a caretaker. In fact, (US Assistant Secretary of State Richard) Boucher has suggested that to the government."

"Will this minority government go ahead and sign an international deal? That is the crux of the matter," Bardhan said. If it did so, then the government would not only "lose confidence but also ethos and morality."

He also referred to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement on whether a minority government would be able to sign such an agreement.

Asked whether the country would not look "foolish" if it reneged on an international agreement like the nuclear deal, Bardhan said "I don't think so. It will show that the country is very democratic. It has to listen to the voice of the people, take into account Parliament debate and observe the coalition dharma."

To a question whether the Left would allow the government to get a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), he said the US was "insisting that there will be a waiver only if you agree with the deal. That has been made clear."

He said that France and Russia too were also negotiating with India and they "have no Hyde Act to impose on us. But you must have also noticed that US Senators have already declared that without them, there will be no waiver."

The veteran communist said the UPA government was moving on the basis of the Indo-US nuclear agreement. "After all, they need not have done so."

"You are forgetting that they (government) were pushing ahead, they were declaring their intent to push ahead (with the deal) regardless of what they are negotiating with the IAEA."

However, he said the Left had "no problems with the IAEA or the (India-specific) safeguards agreement. After all, if we have to go ahead with nuclear energy, there is got to be safeguards.

"Our problem is with the (Indo-US) deal and not about the safeguards. ... Not about the NSG either, provided the NSG is not conditional as it is today. You are forgetting that no unconditional waiver will come unless the US supports it," Bardhan said in reply to questions.

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