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Left may not wait till July 9

CPI general secretary AB Bardhan said the Left parties will ask the UPA government on Friday to clarify whether it is approaching the IAEA Board of Governors, reports Jatin Gandhi.
Hindustan Times | By Jatin Gandhi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 04, 2008 01:10 AM IST

The Left parties will ask the UPA government on Friday to clarify whether it is approaching the IAEA Board of Governors, CPI general secretary AB Bardhan said on Thursday.

The decision will be taken at the four Left parties’ meeting to “thrash out the modalities of withdrawing support” to the Manmohan Singh government, at which the RSP and Forward Bloc will press for immediate withdrawal.

The CPI Central Secretariat met in New Delhi on Thursday and endorsed the CPI(M) politburo’s stand that the Left should withdraw support to the government if it approaches the IAEA.

The CPI accused the government of indulging in a “deceptive campaign by grossly exaggerating the benefits of the deal” to divert the people’s attention from “pressing problems” such as the high inflation and increasing prices of food and essential commodities.

“The political crisis and uncertainty into which the country has been plunged is of the UPA’s own making,” Bardhan said, quoting from the secretariat’s statement.

“Those at the helm of the government” have ignored their own allies “who wanted no break with the Left”, the party said, indicating that the Congress had violated the coalition dharma. “Tomorrow we will ask them to make it clear,” Bardhan announced. “Ordinarily, we would wait for the Prime Minister to return (from the G-8 meeting in Japan) but if they tell us they are going ahead on July 5, we will withdraw on July 5,” he said. The PM returns to India on July 9.

In parallel meetings of their Central Secretariats – the Forward Bloc in New Delhi and RSP in Kolkata – the two parties decided they would press for immediate withdrawal at the meeting on Friday. “We should withdraw without giving the government further time,” RSP General Secretary Debabrata Biswas said.

He said the government had “breached the Left’s trust” by going back on the agreement to not go ahead with the deal unless the UPA-Left committee cleared it. “We don’t think we should allow them to befool us again,” he said. RSP MP Abani Roy said his party too would appeal to the other communist parties not to delay the withdrawal of support. “Enough is enough,” he said.

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu met Bardhan in the morning, before the UNPA meeting and called on CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat at his party headquarters.

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