Vinay Kumar

Asserts that the Left parties give support on the basis of policy framework

“Our basic position on nuclear deal has not changed”

Dismisses the hardliner tag given to him

NEW DELHI: “The Left gives support on the basis of a policy framework. This government is stable because we are supporting it. It will last its full term. If the government falls, it won’t be because of us,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat has said.

In an interview to Outlook magazine, Mr. Karat explained why the Left finally allowed the Manmohan Singh government to hold talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) although it had threatened to withdraw support if any such meeting took place.

“From July 2005, we were constantly being presented with a fait accompli [by the government]. But [in November 2007] when indications came that the government was willing to bring back the IAEA draft to the UPA-Left committee, we agreed. The government showed flexibility, so we showed flexibility. But our basic position has not changed — the government cannot go ahead with the nuclear deal,” Mr. Karat was quoted as having told the magazine. The interview is to appear in the latest issue of Outlook.

On efforts to forge a third front, he said: “After our United Front experience and earlier efforts to form a third front we decided we would first draw up a programme, create a secular platform and gather forces inside and outside the UNPA. In that process, a third alternative will emerge. In 2006, we decided to start by working with parties not with the NDA on issues of common interest. We accepted the UNPA invitation to join in its campaign on the farmers’ issue, but we are not in the UNPA. Currently, we are focussing on joint action on common issues.”

Mr. Karat also dismissed the hardliner tag given to him, saying any other CPI(M) leader would have acted the way he had.

“A secular government at the Centre, depended on the Left, provided us with an opportunity to project our policies. Anyone else in the CPI(M) leadership would have also utilised the situation to put forward the Left’s policies strongly. We are translating our [electoral] gains to go forward,” he told the weekly.

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