Left renews threat to withdraw support over nuclear deal

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) The Left parties today renewed their threat to withdraw support to the UPA government if it moved ahead with operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The threat came soon after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee made a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha, reaffirming the need for going ahead with the nuclear deal.

Senior CPI(M) leader and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury told a news conference that the Leftists would ''not support'' the government which ''operationalises the deal''. Leaders of the CPI and RSP echoed similar assertions.

''We cannot support a government which goes ahead with a deal which is nothing but an attack on the country's sovereignty, compromises on the independent foreign policy, and drags India into a strategic alliance with the US,'' Mr Yechury said.

When asked about media reports that the government was ready to go ahead with the deal ''even at the cost of Left support'', Mr Yechury said the government should be able to pick up the hint.

He also wanted the government to explain the ''hurry'' in signing the deal. ''We should wait to see how the new administration in the US will react to the development,'' he said.

CPI senior leaders Gurudas Dasgupta and Shamim Faizi told UNI that if the UPA government went ahead to operationalise the deal by signing the 123 agreement, the Left would be free to decide its own course.

They emphasised that ''the course is very well known to the government''.

RSP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Abani Roy stressed that the UPA government could not be ''trusted'' and the Left parties should be ready for ''any eventuality''.

UNI KSA YA KP

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