Nuclear deal tops agenda as CPI National Executive begins

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (UNI) The top leadership of the CPI today began its three-day deliberations to take stock of the political developments, mainly the Indo-US nuclear deal, the possibility of snap polls, the developments in Karnataka and the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

The CPI's 31-member National Executive commenced discussions, which are to be followed by a two-day meeting of the 125-member National Council. The party would then take a final decision on its approach in the event of the ruling UPA insisting on going ahead with operationalising the nuclear pact, CPI senior leaders S Sudhakar Reddy and Shamim Faizi told UNI.

The deliberations, being held at the party central headquarters, are being attended by CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan and senior party leaders Gurudas Dasgupta, D Raja and Ms Amarjeet Kaur among others.

Mr Reddy said though his party could unilaterally decide its future course of action if the UPA government persisted on operationalising the nuclear deal, it would consult the other Left parties -- the CPI(M), Forward Bloc and the RSP -- and take a ''unified stand''.

Mr Faizi, editor of the party Weekly, said the National Executive deliberations, chaired by senior party leader from Chhattisgarh D R Bakshi, would prepare reports on the political situation, the progress in work and the preparations for the Party Congress. The reports would be submitted to the NC, which begins discussions tomorrow.

The CPI leaders said the discussions would also centre over the Tehelka sting operation on the Gujarat carnage and the Left's decision to coordinate with the UNPA in and ouside Parliament as part of its resolve to mobilise forces against the nuclear deal.

The date for holding the Party Congress, which meets every three years, would be finalised.

On former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger's remark that New Delhi's failure to complete the deal would impact India's trustworthiness, Mr Reddy said, ''This is a blackmail tactic employed on India.'' ''When the US President takes a certain decision but the Congress does not endorse it, does it it mean that the US loses its credibility?'' he said.

On US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urging India to proceed with the deal and take a leadership role in stalled global trade talks by opening more of its economy, the CPI leaders said ,'' it is also a part of the same gameplan.'' UNI KSA RR DS1707

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