CPM’s latest to UPA: End n-deal talks this month or face elections
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With the second round of talks with the IAEA on India-specific safeguards set to open in Vienna tomorrow, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has issued a clear ultimatum to the UPA government — stop operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal by this month-end or face mid-term elections.
"When they (officials) come back from talks with IAEA, we will tell them (government) there is no need to go ahead with the deal). The issue must be resolved by end of December. If they still go ahead, then we will have to be prepared for Lok Sabha mid-term polls," Karat was quoted by sources as having told a Delhi state CPM meeting yesterday.
As reported by The Sunday Express, an Indian team left for Vienna last night to resume talks with the IAEA.
Karat said the CPM allowed the government to go for the IAEA talks because of the Gujarat elections. His reasoning: the Left parties did not want the government to fall before the Gujarat elections lest the BJP benefited from it. "You may not be worried but we are. We don't want the BJP to win the polls. We have to defeat the Modi government so we don't want to disturb the situation now," sources quoted him as saying.
Karat's colleague Sitaram Yechury, however, said today that the CPM agenda was not to destabilise the government but to stop the nuclear deal. "We have been opposed to the nuclear deal because it has increased India's vulnerability to US pressures in various fields, particularly independent foreign policy," Yechury told PTI from Bhavnagar in Gujarat where he is campaigning for the polls. "Our agenda is to stop that and not to destabilise the government," he said.
While the Congress downplayed Karat's threat — party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said "whatever is being negotiated is as per the understanding reached in the coordination committee meetings of the Left and the UPA and after full engagement with the Left" — the BJP dared the CPM to "show courage" and withdraw support to the government. "If Prakash Karat is so serious, let him show the courage and withdraw support. He lacks courage," said BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad.
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