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Cong braces itself for the worst over nuclear deal

Moily sees no reason why the Left should withdraw support when the Congress has not violated the common minimum programme, reports Saroj Nagi.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2007 02:24 IST
Saroj Nagi
Saroj Nagi
Hindustan Times

The meeting ground between the Congress and the Left seems to be shrinking in the wake of the CPM’s thinly-veiled threat that it would pull out of the UPA, if the government goes through with the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

The Congress, however, was restrained in its reaction to veteran leader Jyoti Basu’s statement ruling out any compromise with the government on the issue.

Sources said that the party would wait for CPM’s resolution at the ongoing central committee meeting in Kolkata as well as the outcome of the October 5 meeting of the UPA-Left mechanism constituted to discuss differences over the issue.

“The ball is in the court of the joint mechanism,’’ said Veerappa Moily, chairman of the AICC’s media department. He said it is for the mechanism “to come out with its verdict’’ on whether the deal should be operationalised or not.

Congress sources said in the worst-case scenario, if the Left withdraws support, the government would go for a floor test. If it fails to prove its majority it would go for elections early next year, if the situation so demands.

They also said that the party would need to ensure the support or abstention of 15 MPs to stave off elections. Besides this, they would also consider whether the Centre would proceed with the operationalisation of the deal in October when the board of governors of the IAEA meeting takes place.

The CPM’s muscle flexing prompted the Samajwadi Party to declare it would support a no-trust motion, should the Left bring one against the UPA government.

However, leaders like Moily see no reason why the communists should withdraw support when the Congress has not violated the common minimum programme.

First Published: Sep 30, 2007 02:20 IST