Left will not change stand on nuke deal: Raja

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Chennai, Jun 22 (UNI) Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary D Raja today denied that the Left parties have been threatening to pull the plug on the issue of the nuclear deal with the US.

''But there will be no change in our stand on signing the deal,'' Mr Raja told newspersons at the airport here on his arrival from New Delhi to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi along with CPI(M) Politbureau member Sitaram Yechuri and prevail upon Mr Karunanidhi to persuade the Manmohan Singh government not to sign the deal.

He said, ''We are not threatening anybody. We will not do it.'' "But at the same time we have been trying to make the Congress understand how the nuke deal with US, if signed, would adversely affect India," he said.

''We are opposing the deal only to safeguard India's interests,'' Mr Raja said.

Mr Yechuri, who arrived from New Delhi seperately later in the afternoon, told waiting newspersons that he would meet the media after the scheduled meeting with Mr Karunanidhi.

Asked about the expectation that the Left parties would align with the BJP if they come out of the Congress led UPA coalition government at the Centre, Mr Raja said this would not be so.

''We will not join hands with communal forces. We are firm on this,'' he said.

However, Mr Raja pointed out that if they stand isolated and contest the next elections on their own, the BJP could come to them for support.

''The Congress must take into account this possibility,'' he said.

Answering a question on his meeting with Mr Karunanidhi, Mr Raja said he and Mr Yechuri were meeting the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister as the DMK supremo was among the "veteran political leaders" in the country.

''We believe that Mr Karunanidhi would help us to reach an amicable agreement on the issue,'' Mr Raja said.


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