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N-deal: Bardhan joins issue with Sonia
Nikhil Lakshman in New Delhi | September 03, 2007 08:29 IST
Last Updated: September 03, 2007 10:01 IST
On Saturday, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi [Images] told her partymen, via a letter written in the party journal Congress Sandesh that the government had kept the Left and other Opposition parties informed throughout the negotiations with the US.
Using his words very carefully, lest it convey the impression that he was implying that the Congress leader was lying, the 81-year-old Communist veteran said the government had not consulted the Left leaders during the negotiations with the US.
"If she means the debates in Parliament over the last two years, that was an open debate. But before signing this deal, they never discussed it. If they had, I don't know what would have happened."
"Maybe at that time itself we may have made the point that we would not agree with it," he added."But my complaint is not that we were not consulted before or during the negotiations," the CPI leader said. "My complaint is that the deal you have signed ultimately is not acceptable to us. We have serious reservations about that."
"The briefing took place after the deal was signed, never during the negotiations," Bardhan said, responding to a question if he was certain of the chronology of the briefing. "I am emphatic about it. But I am not making that the main point. Our grievance is the deal itself, the context in which it has come about, the text of the deal and the fact that it is not in the interest of the country at all."