Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party (Marxist) and Sitaram Yechuri told Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh [Images], Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi [Images] and external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee that the government should not go ahead with operationalising the nuclear deal with the United States in a hurry and clarify certain important issues.
They warned that the left parties would be forced to take serious action if the government went ahead with the deal. "Us or them," they told the government in so many words. However, he did not specify if the Central Committee meeting would be held on August 22 and 23.
"Any further decision would depend upon what the government does," he said in response to a question from the newsmen.
Karat read out one-page resolution adopted by the left parties during their joint meeting on Saturday morning. "Given the widespread opposition to the agreement and the fact that a majority in parliament do not support the nuclear cooperation deal, the government should not proceed further with the agreement", the resolution said.
It further noted, "Till all the objections are considered and the implications of the Hyde Act evaluated, the government should not take the next step with regard to negotiating a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is for the congress leadership to decide on the matter which will have serious consequences for the government and the country," the resolution said.
The politburo felt that the agreement would have adverse consequences for an independent foreign policy, sovereignty and the economic interests of the people.
Karat refused to give any categorical answer to a question whether the left parties have decided to end their support to the government. "I cannot say. That is for the congress party leadership to discuss and tell us," he said.
He explained that the basic issue that needs to be sorted out is how can India afford to have the nuclear reactors bound for 50 years in perpetuity.
CPM has decided to take the issue of the agreement to the masses through nationwide campaign. Hardening of the CPM stand was not surprising after the Chinese government lauded the stand taken by the Indian opposition parties against nuclear deal with the Americans.