Left not going soft on N-deal issue: CPI(M)

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New Delhi, Nov 11: A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi reached out to Left leaders on the Indo-US Nuclear deal, the CPI(M) scoffed at the speculation that the Left was going "soft" on the issue, saying they were sticking to their old stand that the government must not operationalise the Pact as it is not in the national interest.

"From the very beginning, the Left has been insisting that the majority of Parliament, the experts and public opinion is against the government's move to make India a strategic partner of the US.

This is why we insisted that the sense of the House be respected and the issue be debated in the Parliament," CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury told newspersons.

The CPI(M) leader said both the government and the Left leaders agreed upon yesterday over a luncheon meeting that the issue would be taken up for debate in the very beginning of the Winter session of Parliament commencing on November 15.

Briefing on the deliberations of the Party Polit Bureau two-day meet, under session at the party headquarters-A K Gopalan Bhavan, Mr Yechury said he won't be able to "react" to an "impression" that the Left was was now becoming soft on the N-deal issue.

Mr Yechury's remark came close on the heels of Dr Singh and Ms Gandhi holding a luncheon meeting with Left leaders Prakash Karat and A B Bardhan wherein both sides agreed on the timing of the discussion on the N deal and that the next meeting of the UPA-Left Political Panel on the deal would be held at the earliest after the debate in the House is over.

The Panel deferred its fifth meeting scheduled for November 16 after the Left leaders suggested that it would be appropriate to hold the discussions only after the debate in the House so that the views expressed could also be placed before the Panel.

The CPI(M) leader said the Party PB would also take up other issues- the issues for the Winter session, the outlines of the Political resolution to be placed before the three-day party Central Committee deliberations here beginning December 20, Gujarat carnage as revealed by the Tehelka and the preparations for the Party Congress to be held in Coimbatore towards the end of March,2008.

The PB meeting is being attended by Party General Secretary Prakash Karat, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan, Left Front Chairman Biman Basu, Mrs Brinda Karat and S R Pillai. West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee could not attend because of his pressing engagement in the state due to Nandigram developments.


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