'Not a victory or defeat for any side'

CPI-M says the truce between the Left parties and Congress on the nuclear issue is not a victory or defeat for any side.
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Updated on Aug 31, 2007 08:07 PM IST
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PTI | By HT Correspondent, Kolkata/new Delhi

CPI-M on Friday said the truce between the Left parties and the Congress on the nuclear issue is not a victory or defeat for any side.

It also said the Left parties behaved responsibly during the crisis and that it did not precipitate it. "This is not a victory or defeat of any side," said CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat when asked by reporters whether the Centre had got a reprieve following the truce with the Left parties.

He said a committee has been formed to go into the concerns raised by the Left parties and "let it do its work. Then we will see." The party would closely study the functioning of the Committee, he added.

His party leaders in Parliament said in Delhi that the Left has behaved responsibly during the crisis. "The Left parties have behaved very responsibly. There was a crisis facing the nation and the Left did not precipitate it. We never said 'stop this or scrap that'. We only said ally our apprehensions," party leader Mohd Salim told reporters.

Salim said "Government's decision yesterday to set up this committee shows that it thinks that our concerns are serious in nature and our apprehensions are valid."

Replying to a spate of questions on whether Thursday's statement indicated that the government could start talks on the deal, he said "... Government has also not said they would proceed (with operationalising the deal) violating this understanding. We are also asking it not to be in a hurry."

Expressing satisfaction over the statement, Salim said "our apprehensions still exist. The government and its political leadership also realise that. Let the Committee be constituted, let it start working."

He said the long-term interests of the nation have to be taken into consideration and a cost-benefit analysis made on how far the nuclear deal would go to help India.

Attacking the BJP for not consulting its partners to resolve issues during the erstwhile NDA rule, Salim's party colleague Basudeb Acharia said the proposed UPA-Left committee to resolve issues connected with Indo-US nuclear deal was not a government panel but a political one.

"They (BJP) never consulted NDA partners when they were in power, but took decisions on issues in a bipartisan manner. ... They are now demanding that major international agreements be ratified by Parliament. They were in government for six years but never made any such move," he said.

Reacting to BJP's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the matter, Acharia asserted that "never before has any international agreement been scrutinised by Parliament".

Acharia said the Left and UPA have been holding discussions on a number of issues like Patents Amendment bill, Special Economic Zones, FDI in insurance sector and Pension regulatory authority.

There has been a political mechanism in existence which has played a role in resolving these issues. "For example, the pension regulatory authority bill has not been been brought so far owing to differences," Acharia said, indicating that the proposed UPA-Left panel on the nuclear issue was another such political mechanism.

He attacked the saffron party for disrupting parliamentary proceedings on Friday on "flimsy ground" of seeking representation in a political committee.

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