CPI(M) warns against any unilateral decision over nuke deal

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New Delhi, Mar 8 (UNI) Rejecting the need for holding separate talks with UPA constituents over the Indo-US nuclear deal, the CPI(M) today warned the government against taking any ''unilateral'' decision to operationalise the deal notwithstanding the ''US pressure''.

''There is no need to talk to them as the leaders of the DMK, NCP and RJD were present when it was decided unanimously at the UPA-Left coordination committee to allow the government to hold talks only with the IAEA and not sign any document,'' CPI(M) senior leader and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury told newspersons here.

Mr Yechury's statement came in response to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's reported remark today that he did not see any possibility of early elections as partners of the UPA are not ready for it.

Mr Mukherjee, who is also the convenor of the panel on the deal, also stated that the survival of the government was more important and the Left would have to be taken on board. He ruled out the possibility of a minority government signing the agreement, saying that the US was not ready for it.

Congress spokesperson M Veerappa Moily, brushing aside the Left parties' apprehension that the deal was being pushed at the cost of country's sovereignity, hoped that the deal signed with the US would see the light of the day.

During the lunch break on the second day deliberations of the party central committee at party headquarters-- A K Gopalan Bhawan-- Mr Yechury stated that the Indian officials, who are currently in Vienna, are likley to come back in a day or so. Their view will be put forward before the UPA-Left panel on the deal. Only after that, the government can take some decision.

''At the moment we are not aware of outcome of the talks, let them come back,'' the Communist leader said.

''However, one thing is clear that whatever the outcome may be, the 123 Agreement is anchored in the Hyde Act. This has been said categorically by a person not less than US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,'' he said.

On the possibility of Left concerns being taken care of on the deal during Indian officials' talks with the IAEA, the CPI(M) leader quipped ''then the Hyde Act will have to be removed''.

The Left had been pointing out to the government that the deal was not in the interest of the nation and it was an assault on country's independent foreign policy and draws India into a strategic alliance with the US, he explained.

To a specific query, whether Mr Mukherjee's statement implies that the deadlock over the deal was over, he said ''It is good that Mr Mukherjee has said so. Let us reiterate that the deal is not in the interest of the country.'' Mr Yechury asserted that there was a written agreement that the UPA-Left would be taken into account before any decision on the deal.

Senior party leader and another Polit Bureau member M K Pandhe told UNI that the coordination committee (CC), which also discussed the issue, was of the unanimous view that the government could not be allowed to carry forward the deal.

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