New Delhi-Kolkata, Oct 8: In spite of the Congress today trying to play down its president Sonia Gandhi's remark where she equated the opponents of the nuclear deal with enemies of country's development, the CPI (M) today sounded tough and said that they would take the issue to the people.
"Eventually in a democracy the people will decide. We are taking our case to the people," CPI (M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters.
Hinting at the hardening of stance by both the sides on the nuclear deal, Yechury said, "We are convinced that this deal is not in the interest of India. Those who are advocating this deal maybe they are convinced that the deal is in the interest of India."
However, in contrast to Yechury's hard talk, veteran CPI (M) Jyoti Basu's statement was much mellower. The former Chief Minister of West Bengal expressed his hope to 'salvage' the coalition and talked about the threat of communal forces (read BJP) making a comeback.
"We hope that we are able to salvage the coalition because the communal forces are still waiting in the sidelines," he said, adding that his party is ready for the mid-term polls, "but the election should not be held."
The West Bengal unit of the CPI (M) is considered to have a soft stance against the nuclear deal as compared to the tough stance taken by their New Delhi party colleagues like Prakash Karat.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had met Basu this weekend and discussed with him the contentious issue.
The special UPA-Left committee, whose convenor is Mukherjee, has met several times to resolve differences that the two sides have regarding the deal, but has failed to make any noticeable progress.
The committee is meeting on Tuesday again.