New Delhi, May 10: The Left parties should not have withdrawn support to UPA-I government on the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal, says CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on the steep decline of the communists ever since.
Instead, they should have withdrawn support on issues like price rise as the people could not be mobilised on the nuclear deal issue in the 2009 general elections.
"We said that this was not the issue (to withdraw support). We reviewed it later. In hindsight, we have said we could not make it a people's issue (in the elections). It should have been a people's issue like price rise and the UPA abandoning the 'aam aadmi' perspective," Yechury told PTI in an interview.
"And it was also the timing (of withdrawal) for which we also self-criticised. But the issue of (opposing) the nuclear deal, we have no regrets and we think is correct."
He says by going ahead with the nuclear deal, it was a signal that the UPA wanted to jettison the Left.
The Indo-US nuclear deal was not part of the UPA's Common Minimum Programme, he says but there was "tremendous pressure on India to be a subordinate ally of the US strategic interests in the world. We have been vindicated on this".
Yechury was replying to a question on the decline of the Left forces including CPI(M) after the 2009 elections and whether snapping ties with UPA on the Indo-US nuclear deal was a mistake.
Compared to 64 seats in 2009, the Left parties won just 10 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In 2009, the CPI(M) Central Committee had said in its poll review: "The decision to withdraw support to the (UPA-I) government when it decided to go ahead to operationalise the nuclear deal was correct.
"It was based on our understanding that the Party cannot support a government which is entering into a comprehensive strategic tie-up with US imperialism in which the nuclear deal was ... 'the cementing factor'.
However, we could not mobilise people on the nuclear issue and rally them during the election."