CPM Polit Bureau meet to decide on N-deal

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Kolkata, Sep 28: With a UPA-Left spat threatening the nation's political stability, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau met here today to take a final stand on the Congress-led coalition Government at the Centre over the contentious issue of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

The meeting was attended, among others, by CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, veteran leader Jyoti Basu, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, his Tripura counterpart Manik Sarkar, Ms Brinda Karat and Mr M K Pandhe.

Party spokesman Sitaram Yechury was expected to join the meeting in the second half of the day.

"We are discussing everything here, " Mr Pandhe told reporters when asked whether the possibility of a mid-term poll was on agenda.

"Whatever the decision of the meeting, it will be unanmious, " he said.

The one-day meet, perhaps most significant in recent times, would be followed by a three-day Central Committee meeting of the party, which would ratify the Polit Bureau decision.

CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu is likely to play a stellar role in shaping the policy of the party, caught between an ideological compulsion and the need to sustain the UPA Government to counter the BJP.

Taking a tough stand against the nuke deal that the party considered detrimental to the country's sovereignty, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat had already said the Left parties would not support the Government if it moved even one step further with the agreement.

Driven by the uniform perception of America as an epitome of imperialism, the party rallied behind Mr Karat on this issue despite the fact that there were differences within the CPI(M) over withdrawal of support to the UPA Government.

While putting its foot down against the agreement, the meeting is expected to hammer out a formula to evade the blame of thrusting a mid-term poll on the country.

''In no case are we going to compromise on national interest as the Hyde Act is bound to cast an ominous spell on the 123 agreement.

We shall not support the Government on this count. But we are also not in favour of foisting a mid-term poll on the country. It is up to the Congress whether they should invite it, '' party sources said.

Questions were rife within the CPI(M) on the possible situation in the event of withdrawal of support to the Government that could pave way for a comeback of the "communal forces".

Though supporting the party's opposition to the nuclear deal, some leaders, including Mr Basu, were of the view that Hyde Act could never be used as a subject to convince the people about a possible withdrawal of support to the Government.


UNI

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