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Home > News > PTI

Who is talking of elections, asks Karat

November 02, 2007 17:46 IST

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The Indo-US nuclear tango

Communist Party of India � Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat on Friday  indicated that there was no possibility of a snap poll over the India-United States nuclear agreement. He also suggested that the Left Front, which has warned the United Progressive Alliance-led government against going ahead with the agreement, wants a discussion in Parliament under a rule that will not have any voting.

"The All India Congress Committee is having a session on November 17. We are having our party congress by the end of March. The CPI is also going to have its party congress. So nobody is talking of elections," he said in Kolkata on Friday.

Karat, who has adopted a conciliatory tone of late, was asked whether there was a possibility of snap polls by the first quarter of 2008.

"I have not talked of withdrawal of support (from the UPA government). At the last central committee meeting of the party in Kolkata, we have not talked of withdrawal of support," he said.

Speaking about the meeting of the UPA-Left Committee on the nuclear deal to be held on November 16, he said, "We are hopeful that we will be able to do something in that meeting. We will try to arrive at some conclusion. We are prepared to have more meetings to arrive at a conclusion to resolve the issue."

"It took two years for the UPA government to negotiate with the US administration to reach the 123 agreement. But the UPA-Left committee has only worked for two months. We are prepared to spend as much time as necessary as we think that the issue is very vital for us," he said.

Karat emphasised that his party wanted a common approach to the nuclear deal in Parliament during the winter session beginning November 15.

"We are not insisting on voting (in Parliament on the deal). It can be a non-voting resolution. Opinion and views of the Parliament on this issue must be elicited. All the parties representing Parliament will express their opinion. From that, we can make a general sense of the Parliament," he said.

Karat, however, ruled out holding any discussion with the Bharatiya Janata Party on the issue of arriving at a consensus of political parties.

"I don't think that there is a need to discuss with the BJP. Their stand on the issue is known," Karat said, adding that he was not aware of any change in the stance of the saffron party.

"Officially, the BJP has asked for renegotiation of the deal," he said.

The CPI-M leader added, "We have said do not operationlise the deal. What is operationalisation, all that is being discussed. Let the UPA-Left committee's work be over."

About joining hands with a Third Front, Karat said that his party was working in that direction, saying such an alternative would be "a broadbased platform on common issues".

"But it is not going to be an alliance with some parties for the elections," he clarified.

"There is no Third Front as such. Third Front is not being created now. We are working for a broad-based platform on common policy issues," the Marxist leader said.

Karat said that the party's Politburo would meet on November 11 and 12 in which the final date for the party Congress would be announced. Observing that the US was trying to make India a strategic ally to counter China, he said, "USA can do what they want. We should not be party to that. This will not be in our country's interest."

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