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Government to end logjam on nuclear deal?
October 11, 2007 17:02 IST
Left parties on Thursday made it clear that they did not want to precipitate the crisis for the 40-month-old Manmohan Singh [Images] government and were keeping a keen watch on the Centre's moves to end the logjam between the two sides over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
However, sources told UNI that the government is busy in finding a way out and the pressing compulsion is to avoid the possibility of mid-term polls.
Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran and Polit Bureau member M K Pandhe said, "We are for delaying the deal. So long as the government delays the deal, there is no question of the Left withdrawing support."
CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said there was an atmosphere on the part of both the sides to avoid a head-on confrontation on the nuclear deal and prevent mid-term polls. Besides the allies in the UPA also were not in favour of the polls, they added.
Forward Bloc national secretary G Devrajan said the Congress seemed to have developed cold feet on the deal for several reasons. The first being the party ranks not showing much enthusiasm for the mid-term polls at the moment. Secondly, the growing realization that the move may even boomerang. Uncertainty about the future alliance with the BSP was also another reason for a 'rethinking'' on its part.
Left leaders' observations assume political importance in the wake of the Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam reportedly having convinced the Congress leadership that the government should not be sacrificed for the sake of the deal and All India Congress Committee spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed ruling out the possibility of the mid-term polls.
When pointed out about the government not broaching the subject of the deal with visiting International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohammed El Baradei, CPI-M senior leader Mohammad Salim said, "It is good for the country. The Left parties have been impressing upon the government that it should not be in haste about carrying forward the deal and instead discuss the issue in Parliament."
The Left leaders indicated that the Congress feared the non-completion of the full-term would be attributed to its failure to follow the coalition 'dharma.'
The allies, who are said to be in constant touch with the Left, maintain that indigenous technology and better utilisation of available resources like coal, water and wind could be used to achieve the self sufficiency in power sector.
The possibility of the government finding a way out to ease out the standoff with the Left further heightens in the wake of the four-day-visit of the IAEA Director-General turning into a 'damp squib' with the government unable to proceed with the talks.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukerjee's act to get the Left to agree to informal consultations have not succeeded and instead the government now have been pushed to a position where it has to agree to revisit the deal.
Another report quoting a NCP leader suggested that at least for three months there would be no talks with the IAEA or the NSG on safeguards agreement or other conditions.
Besides, the Congress leadership is reported to have 'conveyed' to the allies that the government will not go ahead on the deal in the absence of consensus among the allies and the supporting Left parties, another media report added.