Basu advocates compromise formula to avoid early polls

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Kolkata, Oct 8 (UNI) CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu today averred that his party was ready for an early Lok Sabha poll, even as he called for efforts to work out a compromise formula.

Talking to reporters a day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi apparently hit out at the Left over the Indo-US nuclear deal, Mr Basu said, ''Ms Gandhi made a good speech in the US. But she has spoken about elections...I think what she wants to do is not right.

But if at all election is held we are ready for that.'' Mr Basu, who was speaking after the release of a journal, ''Rangberang'' at his Salt Lake residence, however, said personally he felt that an early poll should not take place now.

''I have asked Prakash (Karat) and Sitaram (Yechuri) to see whether a compromise formula can be worked out so that we (the Left and the UPA) can get along unitedly for some more days. But I do not know whether that will be of some meaning,'' he said.

The Marxist veteran observed that an election at this juncture was not advisable since ''communal forces'' were still existing and the Panchayat poll in West Bengal was due next year.

Mr Basu said after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met him yesterday, he asked the CPI(M) General Secretary and Mr Yechuri to ''listen to what he says''.

''Pranab came to me...he wants that talks on the nuclear deal do not break down... I felt good to hear him saying that he would explain to IAEA the objections from the UPA allies and plead for time to talk to them. But I am not sure to what extent the party would accept it...'' he said.

Asked about the CPI(M) stand on the India-US nuclear deal, he said the issue was discussed at the UPA-Left committee meeting on October 5. ''Our party's Polit Bureau meeting to be held on October 18 will take a decision,'' he added.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Left Front chairman Biman Bose were present during the meeting Mr Mukherjee had with Mr Basu last evening.

While the Left Parties had threatened to withdraw support to the UPA Government if the deal was operationalised, the government had been trying to convince them about the need to go ahead.

The Centre had been pressing the Left parties to stop opposing negotiations with the IAEA as the Government would run out of time if the deal was not placed seeking India-specific nuclear safeguards as part of the implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.


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