Left threatens to pull the plug again
A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed hope that the India-US nuclear deal would see the light of day despite domestic problems, the CPI-M on Thursday warned that the Left parties would withdraw support to the UPA government if it “unilaterally” went ahead with the agreement.
“We would be left with no other option but to withdraw support if the UPA government goes ahead with the deal,” politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters.
Addressing IFS probationers on Wednesday, the Prime Minister had said “domestic politics” had prevented the government from going ahead with the deal and hoped progress would be made in the coming months, triggering speculation in political circles that the agreement would be signed without seeking the Left’s approval.
Yechury’s threat pre-empts any such move by the government, though he said Singh’s statement was reiteration of his known position on the deal.
He said the Left was not opposed to the safeguards agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency but had “fundamental objections” regarding the 123 pact, which is “deeply anchored” in the Hyde Act. “There are many objectionable and unacceptable provisions in this (Hyde) Act with regard to India’s sovereignty. These need to be addressed first.”
India has already concluded negotiations with the IAEA, but is yet to sign the safeguards agreement, a major step for operationalising the deal.
“We would like to see what the government has to say at the next UPA-Left coordination committee meeting on June 18,” said Yechury, a member of the panel.