When the government is going to the IAEA is the question, says Bardhan
NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Thursday said the Left would have to decide to withdraw support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. “The CPI will propose this to the other Left parties, which are meeting on July 4, to consider the modalities of this action,” it said.
“We will demand from the government to tell us when it is going to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The question is not whether they are going [to IAEA]. The fact that they are going ahead is clear, but ‘when’ is the question,” CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan told reporters after a meeting of the party’s Central Secretariat here.
Responding to queries, he said: “There are no two opinions [about the Left decision to withdraw support] only modalities like timing and writing to the President will have to be decided.”
Asked if the Left parties had any indication when the government would move the IAEA, Mr. Bardhan said, “the government is in a hurry. If they are going [to IAEA], they are going within this week ... within the next seven, eight or ten days.”
Besides the CPI, the other Left parties — the RSP and the Forward Bloc — met here on Thursday. The CPI(M) Polit Bureau has already decided to withdraw support the moment the government goes to the IAEA Board of Governors to seek approval of the India-specific safeguards agreement.
When his attention was drawn to the statement of the Prime Minister’s Office defending the nuclear deal, Mr. Bardhan said: “They have not been able to answer all our queries.”
Reading out the Central Secretariat statement, he criticised the UPA government for diverting all its energies to the sole agenda of pushing ahead with the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal rather than tackling galloping inflation, high prices of foodstuffs and essential commodities.
Noting that a “high-power campaign” had been launched to divert the attention of the people from the pressing problems, Mr. Bardhan accused the government of “indulging in a deceptive campaign by grossly exaggerating the ‘benefits’ which it says will accrue from the deal.”
Maintaining that the government had agreed to present the outcome of the IAEA talks to the UPA-Left Committee on the nuclear deal, he said it continued with the “untenable” stand that the text of the safeguards agreement could not be shown to the panel.
“Those at the helm of government have also ignored the words of caution from their own allies who, while supporting the deal as partners of the government, wanted no break with the Left and no move that will precipitate a political crisis,” the statement said.
“The political crisis and uncertainty into which the country has been plunged is the UPA government’s own making. Those at the helm of the government have doggedly pursued neo-liberal policies and totally mismanaged the national economy,” the CPI charged.