Left to mobilise support for taking "Sense of House" on N-deal

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New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) A day after the Left parties and the United National Progressive Alliance resolved to adopt a common approach on the nuclear deal in Parliament, Telugu Desam Party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu visited the CPI headquarters to further consolidate the initiative.

During the over 45-minute meeting with CPI leaders A B Bardhan and D Raja at Ajoy Bhawan, the CPI headquarters, Mr Naidu said as far as the nuclear deal is concerned, the UNPA is in full agreement with the position taken by the Left parties.

Mr Naidu said the fruits of economic reforms had not reached the poor.

After meeting UNPA leaders-- Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Mr Naidu and his colleague Mr Yerran Naidu and Mr Amar Singh here yesterday, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said, ''The UNPA agreed to have a common approach with the Left on the nuclear deal.'' The meetings between the Left and the UNPA leaders are being seen in political circles as part of the efforts to mobilise forces to take the ''Sense of the House'' against the deal in the backdrop of the government agreeing to hold a debate on the issue in Parliament.

CPI(M) leader in the Lok Sabha Basudev Acharya said the move was ''very good'' as it would further strengthen the opposition to the deal, adding that over 60 per cent of the MPs were already against it. Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devrajan said the regional parties could play a vital role in forging anti-BJP, anti-UPA alternative platform.

CPI leaders Shamim Faizi and Mr Bardhan said it was good that Mr Naidu was now in support of a fresh look on the economic policies.

''You come out with concrete position on important national issues that will help conduct joint struggle on agreed issues,'' the CPI leaders added.

Meanwhile, sources told UNI that after the UPA-Left political panel's October 22 meeting, it appeared that the government would drop the deal if ''the sense of the house'' was against it(deal).

Mr Acharya said the Left has been consistently demanding that the debate should be conducted on the floor of the House to determine the position of the government and that it should put the deal on hold.

The CPI leaders opined that the deal should not be made a prestige issue by any individual as in a democracy, major decisions have to be reversed if the people are against it.

''In a parliamentary democracy, the majority in the Lok Sabha reflects the people's will.'' The CPI leaders' remarks are an obvious reference to the Prime Minister's comment that he felt ''extremely embarrassed'' by the little support he got from his party and the allies on the deal.

The Prime Minister also said yesterday, ''I admit that given the nature of competitive politics and the very fractured mandates given to governments, it sometimes becomes difficult for us to do what is manifestly obvious.'' On the government's reportedly asking the Left to show ''flexibility'', Mr Faizi quipped, ''Where is the question of flexibility? ''The deal is on the top of the attempts to forge a strategic partnership with the US. In the Left's view, the steps so far taken for the strategic partnership is simply violation of the National Minimum Programme,'' said Mr Faizi, editor of the party Weekly New Age.

On the significance of the regional parties in broadbasing the anti-Congress, anti-BJP formation, Mr Devrajan said the parties like the Samajwadi Party, TDP and Assam Gana Parishad and others could play a vital role.

In the eventuality of mid-term polls, the parties like the RJD, DMK and NCP would also join the ''people's alternative'', added Mr Devrajan.

UNI

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