Economic issues also weigh heavily on Left's mind

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New Delhi Sep 17 (UNI) Amid reports about the possibility of their withdrawing support to the Manmohan Singh Government by mid-October owing to serious differences over the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Left parties today asserted any extreme step by them would not be prompted by the imbroglio over the accord alone but many other economic and foreign policy issues.

Talking to UNI, the Left leaders, while making it clear that they cannot become a party to implementation of the ''US-friendly'' deal, said the other reasons for withdrawal of the support will include the galloping price rise, wheat import scam, entry of corporates in the fruit and vegetables markets and the collapse of the Public Distribution System (PDS).

CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi elebrated that the Left had also not taken kindly to the government making a ''peanuts announcment'' in the wake of Action Taken Report on the Sachar Committee Report.

''All these issues and not the Indo- US nuke deal alone, will be taken into consideration while dealing with question of withdrawal of the support to the UPA government,'' Mr Bardhan said.

However, playing it safe, senior CPI(M) leader and party's Deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Mohammad Salim said as far as his party is concerned, the Party Polit Bureau and the Central Committee meet, commencing in Kolkata on September 28, will take note of all the developments and take an appropriate decision.

''Nobody can pressurise and preempt anything before these delibrations,'' he said when asked to comment on reports that his party could even ''reschedule or postpone'' the All India Party Congress being held in Coimbatore next March.

The Left leaders' statements came amid observations and comments by political observers and the media that the Congress would force a ''showdown" on the deal by mid-October as the negotiatons with the IAFA in Vienna for India-specific safeguards could not be delayed beyond October end.

However, Mr Faizi made it more clear that, as far as the Left is concerned, any step to operationalise the deal with the US would automatically lead to ''serious political consequences'' for the government.

''We cannot be a party to the operationalisation and implementation of the pact. We have already submitted a five page note enlisting our concerns and the government response is being awaited,'' he said.

Expressing the left's readiness to further elaborate on the new points raised over on the note already submitted after the UPA-Left panel meet on September 19, Mr Faizi said the government had to come clear by mid-October.

The CPI leader said the Left had already said that the basis of their support to the government was the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP), but rued it had been ''more violated than implemented.'' Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devarajan said the greatest violation had been witnessed in the economic and foreign policy spheres. '' We will definitely bring these to the fore, to the attention of the countrymen, who have given us a certain responsibility by sending over 60 Left MPs to the 14th Lok Sabha,'' he added.

UNI

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