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N-deal row: Left threatens govt with 'serious action'

Last updated on: August 10, 2007 18:33 IST

Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta has warned that the Left parties will be forced to take serious action against the government if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to heed the sense of the House before signing the 123 Agreement with the United States.

The agreement will operationalise the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation deal.

Dr Singh had in a statement said that the decision with regard to the agreement was final and there was no question of going back.

"In August 2006, Dr Singh had taken note of the issues raised by the Left parties. What we want him to do now is to take a sense of the House before signing the final agreement," Basudev Acharya of the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.

"If the prime minister does not take notice of the views of the Left parties then we would oppose the agreement tooth and nail and take it to the streets. But this does not mean that we agree with the Bharatiya Janata Party because it was former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee who initiated the discussion on the nuclear deal," another Left leader asserted.

The Left alleged that India was leaning toward imperialist United States which was against India's interests.

"This will harm the interests of India as a nation and its independent foreign policy," Archarya said. The prime minister is scheduled to make a statement in Lok Sabha at 3 pm on Monday.

Parliamentary spokesman of the BJP Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that the Left parties said one thing outside the House and did exactly the opposite while inside the House. "You see what they do when the PM starts making the speech," Malhotra said.

UNI adds:

Meanwhile, CPM patriarch Jyoti Basu said the Left party MPs will walk out of the Lok Sabha if it comes up for voting.

"We will walk out in the event of a voting," he told reporters when asked whether Left parties would vote against the pact.

He made the comment when the BJP, also opposing the 123 agreement, was planning to seek debate on the issue in Parliament under a rule that could lead to voting.

Observing that the nuke deal would benefit only the US, and not India, Basu said the Left leaders had already spoken to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, expressing their reservation.

"The prime minister has said he would try to convince us regarding our concern about the deal. We want that it should be discussed in Parliament," he said after attending the CPM state Secretariat meeting.

Describing the agreement as a threat to the country's sovereign foreign policy, the Left parties had already demanded that the Congress-led UPA government put a brake on its implementation.

CPM general secretry Prakash Karat had said the party was unable to accept the agreement as it locked in India into the US global strategic design.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi