Left sets three-day deadline for withdrawal of support to gov

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New Delhi, Jul 4 (UNI) Left parties today set a three-day deadline for the withdrawal of support to the 50-month-old UPA government in case the latter did not respond to their query as to when the government is approaching the Board of Governors of the IAEA to execute the Indo-US nuclear deal.

''Please let us know the position by July 7,'' the four Left parties said in a joint communique sent to Mr Pranab Mukherjee, government's chief interlocutor and External Affairs Minister.

At the end of the Left parties' joint meeting to finalise the modalities of the withdrawal of the support, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat read out a brief three-paragraph statement saying that they wanted to know whether the government is proceeding to seek the approval of the safeguards agreements by the Board of Governors of the IAEA.

''Various pronouncements are being made by the leader of the ruling coalition and some Union Ministers that the government is going ahead with the nuclear deal,'' the communique added.

The joint letter has been signed by all the four general secretaries of the CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc.

While Mr Karat rushed back to his office room without taking questions, his counterpart in CPI A B Bardhan and other Left leaders answered some of the questions of the scribes.

To a persistent query as to what the Left would do if the government chose to ignore the letter, Mr Bardhan quipped, '' How can they do so? The letter has been written by the four Left parties. They are bound to reply to it.'' To another related query if the government decided not to reply at all, Mr Bardhan asserted ''then the matter will be over''.

When asked as to when the UPA-Left panel on the deal would meet to record the findings, the CPI veteran answered back,'' We have no such information.'' Forward Bloc leader Debabrata Biswas said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was just hoodwinking the nation on the nuclear issue while the sense of the House and civil society were against the deal.

Mr Biswas' colleague G Devrajan elaborated saying that the government had yet to officially inform the Left parties about its decision to go ahead on the deal.

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