N-deal is off or on, Left to ask UPA
The UPA-Left political committee on the India-US civilian nuclear agreement will meet on Monday for the fifth time.
With the government softening its stand on the bilateral treaty and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conveying to US President George W Bush that India cannot proceed with it, this could well be the last meeting of the 15-member panel.
At Monday's meeting, the Left parties hope to formally hear from the UPA that the deal has been frozen. CPM leaders, however, were not willing to comment on the government's position on the deal before the meeting. "We have heard about the change in the government's stand from the media. We hope that it would also be conveyed to us formally when we meet (on Monday)," said a CPM leader on Sunday.
On Saturday, CPI general secretary AB Bardhan made it clear that the Left would want to hear in no uncertain terms from the UPA that the deal is off. That kind of an iron-clad confirmation is needed to end the almost three-month-old controversy, he said.
Meanwhile, PTI quoted CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury as saying in Bangalore on Sunday that the UPA-Left committee is expected to come out with its findings on the deal after Diwali.
Much has changed since October 9, when the committee last met.
On October 12, at the HT Summit, the prime minister said that there was more to life than the nuclear deal and that he was not heading a one-issue government. He further added that the Congress-led UPA was determined to complete its