Left aware of consequences of fall of UPA Govt: Congress

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New Delhi, March 8 (UNI) The Congress today sought to downplay the warning of the CPI to the ruling UPA against going ahead with the Indo-US Nuclear deal, saying that the Left parties were fully aware of the consequences of the fall of the UPA government.

It said the statement of the CPI was not different from what had already been announced by the CPI(M).

"CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan had followed up what CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat had said a few days ago," AICC General Secretary Veerappa Moily told mediapersons, while pointing out that "the response of Mr Bardhan came a little late." Mr Moily was reacting to the letter written by Mr Bardhan to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday, warning that the Left would have no option except withdrawing support should the UPA government go ahead with the Nuke deal.

In fact, Mr Bardhan's letter came a day after CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat wrote to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, asking him to convene a meeting of the UPA-Left Joint Committee on the nuclear deal by March 15.

"We don't attribute any motive to the strong sentiments of the Left parties about the nuke deal." Mr Moily said there had always been a cohesion in the stand of the Left parties. "They always go together," he said, while indicating that there was nothing new in what Mr Bardhan had said and that there was no need for taking the letter seriously.

He said there was no question of the government going ahead with the deal without taking the allies along. In this context, he pointed out that the Left parties had allowed the government to negotiate with the IAEA to operationalise the 123 agreement.

Mr Moily said there was a UPA-Left Joint Mechanism to deal with the differences among themselves with regard to the deal. "The process is still continuing. I don't think we have come to a final stage." Asked if the UPA would convene a meeting of the Joint Mechanism before March 15, as demanded by Mr Karat, he said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the External Affairs Minister would certainly take up the issue seriously.

Asked if the Left parties were trying to veto the UPA government on the nuke deal issue, Mr Moily said "they also have a national responsibility of keeping the communal forces at bay." "The Left are dynamic parties...They are serious about some fundamentals," he said, while pointing out that "they also know the consequences of the fall of the government." The Congress and the UPA had taken the Left parties seriously as the government would not have continued for nearly four years without their support.

Referring to the election results in the North Eastern states, Mr Moily said that the Congress would form a government in Meghalaya and Nagaland, though it could not improve its position in Tripura.

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