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The Rediff Interview/Congress leader M Veerappa Moily
'Deal or no deal, the Left would have withdrawn'
July 11, 2008
"The deal will help farmers get more electricity and increase their output. Farmers in some places get power for just three hours a day," Moily told Onkar Singh at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi.
He was confident that despite the Left parties withdrawing support to the United Progressive Alliance government, the UPA would muster enough support to win the vote of confidence.
The Left is so upset with the prime minister's insistence on going ahead with the nuclear deal that they have withdrawn support...
Deal or no deal, the Left would have withdrawn support. We have been accused of not being able to carry the Left with us. The fact is that they have their own agenda and compulsions. In West Bengal, Kerala [Images] and Tripura, the Congress is their main opposition. They think going with the Congress would hamper their electoral prospects. It is this compulsion that has forced them to withdraw support, nothing else.
Why are you in a hurry to sign the deal?
India needs to generate power. Our farmers do not get even three hours of power a day. Unless they get power for 24 hours, they cannot prosper. Generation of more power can help us build necessary infrastructure to cater to the needs our people.
The Left's main charge is that the government was not willing to show the text of the agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The government has been holding meetings with the Left parties. Various aspects of the draft agreement were discussed at these meetings. Since the text was yet to be approved, we could not show the agreement. But almost everything related to it was discussed. They knew what it is.
The Left alleges the Congress is hiding facts...
Now the text of the agreement is available on the ministry of external affairs Web site. You can consult any expert on nuclear energy and find out if the deal is good or bad. Nothing was hidden from them and yet they kept on harping that the government was hiding facts.
Has External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee resigned as chairman of the UPA-Left coordination committee?
With the Left withdrawing support to the government, there is no such committee.
Will Mr Somnath Chatterjee resign as Lok Sabha Speaker?
The Speaker's office has clarified that there is no question of him resigning from the post. We want him to be there.
Are you thinking of a post-poll alliance with the Left in order to stop the Bharatiya Janata Party from forming the next government?
There cannot be a pre-poll alliance. In a recent interview, Communist Party of India leader A B Bardhan said things could change if they needed to stop the BJP from coming to power. He said it is not a permanent rupture with the Congress. Our party thought that the deal is in the best interest of the country. If the Left parties realise that, then they may chose to come back to stop communal forces from coming to power.
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