M A I N   N E W S

Left to woo UPA allies on Iran issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 10
In a move to force the Manmohan Singh government to change its stance on Iran in the next IAEA meeting in November, the Left parties are chalking out a plan to woo the UPA allies, especially the NCP and DMK to launch a national campaign for an independent foreign policy.

The Left parties today got a fillip in their effort when the Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (S) joined to rally in this issue. “Whenever there will be a deviation from the CMP, whether on the economic or foreign policy front, we will mount pressure,” CPM Politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters after a meeting on the controversial Iran nuclear issue here.

He and CPI General Secretary A. B. Bardhan said the parties had decided to organise a seminar on October 28 and a convention the next day to pressurise the government follow an independent foreign policy as laid out in the CMP and reverse its vote against Iran. The meeting also set up a 14-member committee, including former secretaries in the government, journalists and political leaders. The panel would meet again on October 20.

“We will broadbase this campaign and invite all UPA coalition partners, besides other foreign policy experts and individuals to participate,” Mr Yechury said after the meeting, which was also attended among others by Mr Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Mr Surendra Mohan and Mr Danish Ali (JD-S).

Sources said they were optimistic that the NCP and the DMK would join them in this campaign as they have voiced their views against the UPA government’s decision on Iran in different forums.

Left leaders, however, ruled the possibility of holding a joint campaign with the BJP- led NDA, who have also opposed the anti-Iran vote in the IAEA meeting.

“When in government the NDA does one thing and when out of power they say something else. The NDA had made the country’s foreign policy subservient to the USA and now they are opposing the Iran vote,” said Mr Yechury.

The committee includes Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, Mr Amar Singh and Mr Yadav (SP), Mr Prakash Karat (CPI-M), former Secretary S. P. Shukla, former IFS officer M. K. Bhadra Kumar, journalist Seema Mustafa and Left leaders.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |