M A I N   N E W S

Nuke Deal
CPM softens
Silent on withdrawal of support

Kolkata, October 1
In an apparent softening of stand, the CPM today decided to explore avenues to resolve the differences with the UPA government on the Indo-US nuclear deal, but stopped short of saying it would withdraw support if the government goes ahead with operationalising the pact.

While asking the government not to proceed with operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal till it was discussed in the winter session of Parliament, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters here after a two-day meeting of the party's central committee that "both sides are trying to find how to resolve the differences”.

He said with the UPA-Left committee on nuclear deal slated to meet on October 5 and October 14, “an attempt is being made to grapple with the issues which we have posed before the UPA-Left committee”.

“We have put down our objections and they have replied to them. The process is going on, but the government should not proceed till all issues are resolved at the meeting,” he said.

On persistent queries whether the CPM would withdraw support if the government went ahead with the deal, Karat replied “the Central Committee has authorised the Politburo to take appropriate measures” to ensure its stand was implemented.

Asked what would be the appropriate measures, he said it would be dependent on what the government does. “When time comes we will tell the nation.”

Karat said the question of withdrawal of Left’s support to the government over the deal was not discussed at the meeting of the Central Committee.

Meanwhile, seeking to play down differences within the CPM on its role if the Centre went ahead with operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal, CPM patriarch Jyoti Basu today said that the party had taken a unanimous decision on the issue.

“All decisions on the crucial nuclear deal have been taken unanimously,” Basu told reporters after emerging from the concluding day of the party’s Central Committee meeting here.

The CPM veteran, however, refused to take any further question on the deliberations at the three-day meeting.

Yesterday, conflicting signals emerged, with the former West Bengal Chief Minister willing to wait for the outcome of the UPA-Left Committee meeting before deciding the party’s next course of action.

“Two UPA-Left meetings on the nuclear deal are to be held on October 5 and 14. Let us first see whether they offer some concession. Then we will decide,” Basu had stated.

On the other hand, hardliner and party Politburo member M.K.Pandhe had said, “What concessions? The only concession is stopping the deal. We are still firm on our opposition to the deal. We will not allow operationlising of the deal”. — PTI



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