UPA-Left split before July 6; SP at centrestage of numbers game

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New Delhi, Jul 1 (UNI) As the countdown for the UPA-Left split began today with the communists spelling out their intentions to pull the plug before the Prime Minister's July six visit to Japan, the SP could emerge as the messiah of the ruling combine and party leaders will meet NSG M K Narayanan tomorrow to get ''clarifications'' about the nuclear deal.

All eyes are now on the SP which could ''save'' the ruling coalition after a combative Left announced that it would withdraw support to the beleaguered UPA regime before Dr Manmohan Singh left to attend the G-8 summit in Japan.

The decision to pull out is likely to be taken on July 5, a day after the government sends its negotiators to Vienna to complete the pending business with the IAEA, Left sources told UNI.

The sources said it was now upto the Prime Minister whether he wanted to go to Japan as the head of a majority or a minority government.

The four Left parties are scheduled to meet here on July 4 where they are expected to take a unified decision on their withdrawal of support from the 50-month-old UPA government.

The CPI top leadership dared Dr Singh to bring forward the Monsoon Session of Parliament if he was sure about Parliament's consent for the nuclear accord.

CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said if the Prime Minister was so confident, he should place the frozen draft with the IAEA in the House.

''The House can debate and either reject it or allow the government to go to Vienna. No argument of terming the frozen texts as classified document is acceptable,'' they observed.

''The government's approach in this regard is non-transparent, secretive and ignored the parties concerned. Leave apart the people of the country, the government is not ready to take even the supporting parties into confidence,'' they said.

Mr Rupchand Pal, CPI(M) chief whip in the Lok Sabha, said as soon as the government confirmed that it was going to approach the IAEA, the Left would immediately withdraw its support.

He said the Prime Minister's assurance about coming back to Parliament with the outcome of the negotiations with the IAEA before operationalisation of the deal was redundant and politically deceitful.

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