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Make IAEA document public: Karat to UPA

Leaders of the four Left parties submitted a combined letter withdrawing their backing to the Congress-led government to President Pratibha Patil.
Hindustan Times | By Jatin Gandhi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2008 02:11 AM IST

Minutes after Left leaders formalised their divorce with the UPA in Rashtrapati Bhawan, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat lashed out at the Manmohan Singh government on Wednesday for being secretive on the nuclear deal, which is against national interest. He accused it of being callous towards the people, who are “groaning under the price rise”.

Karat — who held a press briefing of the four Left parties with top leaders of the CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP by his side — said: “The government says the text of the IAEA agreement is a classified text. We would like to know who has decided it is classified? Is it a decision of the UPA government or the IAEA secretariat?”

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had on Tuesday written to Karat saying the text is a classified document and cannot be shown to those not part of the government.

“We will use all our resources to stop the deal,” Karat vowed. “This government, which is a minority government, has disregarded Parliament,” he said, adding later that he was still sure “the deal will not go through”.

Left sources said the communists are in touch with all other parties that are either opposed to the deal or haven’t made up their minds on supporting the UPA

The CPM leader said the government had “violated the agreement reached on November 16, 2007,” in which it had committed to share the details of the IAEA negotiations with the UPA-Left committee on the nuclear deal. “It is an insult to the Left parties that you (the government) commit you will come to us but don’t.”

Karat said the agreement would bind India for 40 years, yet the government chose to be secretive about it, unlike the US government which shares details of similar agreements with its people. “The Congress leadership and the Manmohan Singh government always look up to the US. There are some good things they should learn from the US.”

Dubbing the deal “notorious”, Karat accused the government of “not being transparent at all stages of it”.

It’s classified, says Cong

The Congress has criticised Prakash Karat’s remarks on the UPA refusing to show the Left the full text of the IAEA agreement. “The agreement forms a contractually legal document which contains clauses of confidentiality. Then how can we show it them,” asked party spokesperson Manish Tiwari.

It told the Left that “in the days of terrorism”, such an agreement cannot be put in public domain. “Karat and his colleagues should have taken time to really study why the government was reluctant to put the document before them.”

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