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Left parties appear divided over timing of withdrawing support

The Left parties appear divided over the timing of withdrawal of support to the UPA coalition.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 02, 2008 10:27 PM IST

The Left parties on Wednesday appeared divided over the timing of withdrawal of support to the UPA coalition, with CPI differing with CPI(M)'s view that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh going to G-8 summit should be seen as an indication of going ahead with the nuclear deal.

The Left would make a "fool of ourselves" if it withdraws support before a formal statement from the government that it intended to go ahead with the deal, CPI general secretary AB Bardhan said, suggesting that Left's stand should be delinked from the Prime Minister's forthcoming visit.

"If the government says they have not gone ahead with the deal, we will make a fool of ourselves," he told reporters after a meeting with his CPI(M) counterpart Prakash Karat.

"I do not see any link between the G-8 summit and the nuclear deal," he said.

When pointed to Karat's statement in this regard, he shot back, "if you want to get more clarifications on that statement, ask Karat."

Bardhan suggested that Left parties will wait till Singh's return to withdraw support on the issue.

"When the PM is abroad, it (withdrawing support) is not proper. He is there (Japan) and we withdrawing support...We may wait. It is a matter of courtesy," he said.

However, earlier in the day, Bardhan appeared aggressive when he said that there was no point in waiting to withdraw support to the government as it appeared all set to go ahead with the agreement.

"The point is that all signs point in this direction that the government has decided to go (ahead with nuclear deal), the Congress leadership has decided to go (ahead with the nuclear deal)," Bardhan said noting that Singh seems to have "succeeded" in making Congress and UPA allies to agree to his point of view.

"What is the point in waiting for the day (when government goes to IAEA) to see he (the Prime Minister) has gone there actually?" he said earlier in the day.

Bardhan and party secretary D Raja, meanwhile, met JD(S) president and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and discussed the current political situation.

Raja said they briefed Gowda over their party's stand on the Indo-US nuclear deal, including why the Left parties were opposed to it.

JD(S) has two members in the Lok Sabha and the Congress reportedly is wooing it for its support in a possible trial of strength in case the Left parties withdraw support to the UPA government on the nuclear deal.

TDP leader Yerrain Naidu also met Bardhan.

The CPI central secretariat is meeting here tomorrow to take stock of the current political scenario and finalise its strategy in the event of Left parties withdrawing support to the UPA Government.

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