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Left may withdraw support before deadline: Bardhan

July 05, 2008 19:25 IST

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Accusing the Congress of precipitating a crisis by rejecting the Left's July 7 deadline to the United Progressive Alliance government to specify its plan on the nuclear deal, the Communist Party of India on Saturday said this could prompt the Left parties to withdraw support even before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] return from G-8 summit in Japan [Images].

"If somebody wants to precipitate a crisis, we might have to withdraw support from the government even before the Prime Minister returns from Japan," CPI general secretary A B Bardhan told a press conference when asked to comment on the rejection of the deadline by Congress spokesman Manu Singhvi on Friday.

The Left parties have said they would withdraw support the moment the government went ahead with operationalising the nuke deal.

On reports that Singhvi had described the setting of the deadline as 'discourteous,' he said, "We did not want to pull the rug from the government. Who is teaching us courtesy? We don't want lessons in courtesy from the Congress."

He said it was decided in the last Left-UPA meeting that before going to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the government would show the text of its proposals to the Left parties but had not done so.

Asked what the Left parties would do if the government ignored the July 7 deadline, Bardhan said they would meet either on July 8 or July 9 to decide the next course of action.

On Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani's demand that the Manmohan Singh government should take a confidence vote in the wake of the Left's threat of withdrawal of support, Bardhan said the government should seek it once the Left parties formally withdraw support.

Bardhan said the political uncertainty at the Centre and the government's "failure" to check the price rise had raised BJP's hopes of coming to power. "But there are enough secular forces in the country to ensure that the communal forces are kept out of power."

Asked whether the Left parties would be politically isolated if it withdrew support from the government on the nuclear issue and not on price rise, Bardhan replied in the negative, saying, "As far as the Left is concerned, isolation means isolation from the people. There is no isolation."

He avoided a direct reply when asked whether the Left parties had foreseen that Samajwadi Party, once close to the Left, would lend support to the UPA government. "The SP is an independent party and has a right to take independent decisions. As for us, we do not go for friendships with certificates, like in marriages."

In reply to a question, Bardhan expressed confidence that his party would do well in the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal despite its poor show in recent panchayat and municipal elections. "In the Lok Sabha polls, people will be with us as long as we are with the people."

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