'Question of morality if minority govt continues with deal N deal'

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New Delhi, Mar 15 (UNI) The Communist Party of India, while threatening to withdraw support to Congress-led UPA government at Centre if it went ahead with the 123 agreement, has said a larger question of moralities and ethos will be involved if the minority government still went ahead with the nuclear deal.

CPI general secretary A B Bardhan said if his party withdrew support the UPA government would come into a minority. ''But a situation will not arise when the BJP moved a no confidence vote and the government would dissolve Parliament,'' he added.

The Leftist veteran said should such a situation arise, the whole debate would turn not on politics but on the moral and ethical issue on whether a minority government should conclude such a deal.

Mr Bardhan expressed these views while talking to Karan Thapar in 'Devil's Advocate' on CNN-IBN. The interview, which revolves around on just how determined the Left was to stop the Indo-US Nuclear Deal and whether the CPI threat to withdraw support amounted to bringing down the government or permit it to run as a minority, will be broadcast tomorrow evening.

Mr Bardhan also reminded about the recent statement of External Affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee that a minority government could not go ahead with the deal. Mr Mukherjee had said: 'A minority government cannot, need not and should not sign a major agreement like this.' To a poser, Mr Bardhan charged the Congress with bipolarising the issue by trying to get the approval of the BJP for the 123 agreement. ''They could not get a consensus in Parliament...'' added the CPI general secretary. He was referring to the recent statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he termed former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ''Bhishma Pitamah'' of Indian politics.

''Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics Atal Bihari Vajpayee should listen to his conscience and let national interest prevail upon narrow politics,'' Mr Singh said in the Rajya Sabha earlier this week seeking support of his predecessor on the nuclear deal.

On March 7, the CPI had written a letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh warning the government of withdrawal of support if it goes ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal.

''Should the government decide to push ahead with the deal, we will not and cannot be a party to go along with it. We will then be left with no other option than to withdraw our support to the government,'' CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan had reportedly said in the letter.

This was for the first time a Left party supporting the government from outside had officially written to the PM threatening withdrawal of support.

The CPI, which has 10 members in the Lok Sabha, is part of the CPI(M)-led Left Front that commands the backing of 59 members which is crucial to the government.

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