Symbolic protest: RSP quits panel
The RSP, one of the four Left parties that support the UPA coalition from outside, announced on Monday that it has withdrawn from the UPA-Left Coordination Committee.
The RSP's move is a symbolic protest against the UPA's failure to control rising inflation and spiraling commodity prices. The committee has been lying defunct since November 2006.
RSP general secretary TJ Chandrachoodan announced the decision after the party's Central Committee meeting. "We are not associated with the functioning of the government. This is the first warning we have fired," he said. He clarified that the party will not withdraw from the UPA-Left Committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal, which will meet for the ninth time on June 18.
"We are not happy with their economic policies and the government is not changing its position despite our opposition.
So we have decided to withdraw from the UPA-Left Coordination Committee," RSP MP Abani Roy said. While CPM and CPI are the major Left parties, RSP and Forward Bloc have been the junior partners. The party, which is also part of the Left governments in West Bengal and Kerala, has three MPs in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha.
The UPA-Left Coordination Committee is headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and has representation from Congress and the Left parties, but it has not met since November 2006. "The committee has been dysfunctional for a long time now. The politburo discussed the matter and decided not to take any initiative to revive it. This was also the understanding of all other Left partners including the RSP," a CPM leader said.