Kolkata, Jul 6: Prakash Karat, the General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has issued a fresh warning to UPA government. He said that the government runs the risk of sacrificing India's independent foreign policy, if it moves forward in the negotiations related to the US-India civil nuclear energy cooperation agreement.
"Our independent foreign policy will be in peril if we go for defence and military cooperation, strategic and economic partnership and the civil nuclear deal with the US," Karat said here late on Saturday, July 5. He said that according to the calculations of the government "even if we produce 40,000 MW of nuclear energy in the next 15 to 20 years, it will not constitute more than eight per cent of our power requirement." On the India-Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, the CPM leader said it would also not fructify "if we go ahead with the nuclear deal with the US. "In every stage of negotiation, the US has been dictating to India - You cannot cooperate with Iran," he said.
He was speaking at a function to mark centenary celebrations of eminent parliamentarian and CPI leader Hiren Mukhopadhyay here.
He did not mention the threat by Left parties to withdraw outside support to the Congress-led UPA government on the issue of the nuclear deal, but rumors were in circulation that the withdrawal of support could take place earlier than the expected deadline of July 7.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, the Congress core group has decided that government would reply to the Left's letter seeking details on its future course of action before July 7, the deadline set by the Left bloc.
However, it is expected that the government will not spell out whether it was going to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or not, as sought to be informed by CPM, CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc.
There are clearer signs that the Samajwadi Party-Congress partnership over the nuclear pact is gaining shape and could convert into a wider engagement ahead of next year's general elections.
Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh has said that his party would vote for the government, citing senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader "Advani as the bigger enemy than Bush".
The All India Congress Committee General Secretary Digvijay Singh has said that a a formal electoral understanding between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress is on the cards, and would benefit both.
The Samajwadi Party is planning to offer "issue-based" support to government which means the ruling combine will have to heed to its suggestions.
While sources refused to give details of the reply to be sent to Left, the Centre may remind the Left that there still remained a meeting of the Left-UPA coordination panel on the nuclear deal and the findings should be finalised.