New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) Just a day ahead of India approaching the IAEA for talks, the CPM today warned the UPA government that it should be prepared to pay a ''political price'' if it betrayed the agreement with the Left parties on initiating discussions with the international nuclear watchdog on an India-specfic safeguards agreement in the context of the civilian nuclear deal with the US.
In a message that bordered on bluntness and unconcealed threat, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said the Left parties had given the UPA government a blanket go-ahead for holding talks with the IAEA.
In the same breath, he held that the Left parties had permitted the government to hold talks with the Vienna-headquartered International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with an understanding that it would have to report back to the UPA-Left panel on the issue and not to proceed with signing an agreement.
''The moment they defy, betray this understanding, remember....
They will have to pay the political price,'' Mr Yechury, a CPM Polit Bureau member, told Karan Thapar's 'India Tonight' programme on CNBC.
He also reminded that the assurance from the government was not only to the left parties but also to the people of the country.
''If the government's interest is not in seeing themselves in...If that is the case, then the government should necessarily go.
If deal is more important than being in government, let it go,'' the Rajya Sabha member said.
Mr Yechury also sounded 'sceptical' about the outcome of the talks with the IAEA, saying the nuclear watchdog would not be able to address the objections raised by the Left parties.
He said it would also be futile for the government to ink the deal if it advanced the plea that such a pact would be in the interest of the nation. ''By that time, the government will be off.
Elections will be there.'' Mr Yechury also dismissed the suggestion that the CPM was opposing the deal on the ideological ground. He said his party was predominatly opposed to the Hyde Act. ''We are not opposed to the US, but we are opposed to American imperialism,'' he added.
The Left leader also stuck to his stand that the deal would not serve the interest of the country.