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Home > News > PTI

End the controversy, tell us deal is off: Left tells Centre

October 20, 2007 18:15 IST

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The Indo-US nuclear tango

The Left Front on Saturday asked the Centre to officially declare that the India-United States nuclear agreement is 'off' when the UPA-Left committee meets on Monday. Making it clear that they are not going to wait indefinitely, the Left parties said a clear-cut response from the government was essential to "end the controversy on the agreement."

"We do not know what exactly the United Progressive Alliance representatives will tell us. But what we expect is that they should clearly say that the deal is off or that it has been put on hold. Only then the controversy will end," said Communist Party of India General Secretary A B Bardhan.

 The comments came amid mixed signals from the Centre on the accord. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] had asserted last week that his was not "a one issue government" and the failure of the deal will not be "the end of life".

However, on Thursday, Singh said that he was still hopeful about the deal and reconciliation efforts were underway.

Bardhan said that the government and UPA allies have taken cognisance of the Left stand that the deal should not be operationalised till all their concerns are adequately allayed.

"As far as we are concerned, our stand is clear. We think the government also has to realise it to some extent. The allies have also realised it. Therefore, they were compelled to say that it is not a one-issue government," the CPI leader said.

Bardhan added, "If the government feels that it is not a one-issue government, then it should not make it (the nuclear deal) the sole issue for deciding its fate".

The ruling Congress has maintained that the accord is 'alive and does not need any life support', keeping speculations alive that the issue that has reached a make or break point.

The meeting on Monday is expected to be the last of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee, set up to look into the implications of the deal in the wake of Left opposition to it. The 15-member committee has met four times but has failed to reach any agreement.

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