M A I N   N E W S

CPM, SP join hands on Iran issue
To take on UPA govt
T.R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 11
The Left parties are keen on forcing the Congress-led UPA government’s hand on the Iran vote issue having given a notice for a debate in Parliament under Rule 193 which does not require voting and the CPM and the Samajwadi Party reaching a common understanding on the issue.

“There is common understanding with the Samajwadi Party on several issues, including Iran,” CPM general secretary Prakash Karat told mediapersons after a meeting with SP chief and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav here this evening. The Left is against the Iran issue being referred to the United Nations Security Council.

Mr Karat, however, parried a question if the Left parties would support the proposed no-confidence motion on the plea that he would have to discuss this matter with his Parliamentary colleagues before taking a decision.

The CPM leader had earlier threatened to bring the Manmohan Singh government on its knees. He stressed that the policies of the UPA government were not right and his party would strive to forge a joint platform to take on the government in Parliament on issues like Iran and FDI in retail trade. He made no bones that Iran was the main issue.

Simultaneously, the CPM and the CPI have given notice for a Parliamentary debate on the Iran nuclear issue in the upcoming budget session of Parliament which begins on February 16. Leaders of the Left parties contend they also intend giving notice for a debate on the privatisation of airports and other profit making PSUs.

They are confident that some of the allies of the UPA like the regional DMK, MDMK and PMK of Tamil Nadu will extend support to the Left on these issues. The Left insists that the purpose of the debate is to demonstrate how isolated the Congress is and out of sync with the ground realties and public opinion.

On the broader issue of continuing the outside support to the Manmohan Singh government as it has sidestepped the concerns of the Left, the leaders observed that the CPM at its Politburo meeting in Kolkata yesterday had reached the conclusion that the Centre’s performance over the past 20 months had been dismal. The Left parties will meet among themselves here on Monday before a Left-UPA Coordination Committee meeting.

The Left is clearly upping its ante against the UPA government and insists that it will frankly tell the Manmohan Singh government to mend its ways or they will be compelled to think of other possibilities.

The Left parties said the committee meeting would also bring into its ambit the Indo-US nuclear agreement and the Left’s alternative proposal for resource mobilisation and reduction in expenditure.

While the CPM has resolved to put the government in the dock on the Iran vote, FDI in retail and other economic aberrations contrary to the agreed National Common Minimum Programme, the RSP and the Forward Bloc have stressed that the Manmohan Singh coalition arrangement should only be accorded issue-based support.

The Forward Bloc goes a step further in claiming that the Opposition JD (U) is prepared to support the Left on crucial matters of national importance. Some others in the Opposition are also waiting in the wings to join hands with the Left, according to the Forward Bloc leaders.

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