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A callous government: Karat

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat and CPI leader Raja at a press meet in New Delhi.

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat and CPI leader Raja at a press meet in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: V. Sudershan

Vinay Kumar

Left parties want President to direct Manmohan to seek a confidence vote

NEW DELHI: The four Left parties on Wednesday formally snapped their over four-year-old ties with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government at the Centre by submitting their letters withdrawing support to President Pratibha Patil.

General secretaries of the four Left parties – Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc – met the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted separate letters to her.

They also submitted a joint letter, requesting her to direct Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha immediately. It was signed by Prakash Karat of the CPI(M), A.B. Bardhan of the CPI, T.J. Chandrachoodan (RSP) and Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc).

Later at a joint press conference, Mr. Karat said the UPA government minus the Left support has been reduced to a minority government.

Charging the Manmohan Singh government and the Congress leadership with being “callous” towards the people, Mr. Karat said it was more concerned with fulfilling the commitment made to the U.S. President, George Bush. “We cannot be a party to such a government. The Congress leadership and the government was always looking up to the U.S. but they should have learnt some good things also from America,” he added.

Mr. Karat cited the example of the U.S. government negotiating an additional protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which was not yet approved by the Board of Governors but was made available to all members of the Congress and put on the net.

“Obviously, the IAEA cannot have one standard for India and another for the U.S.,” he said. The CPI(M) general secretary sought to know if the Indian government had asked the IAEA to treat the text of the safeguards agreement as “classified.”

“If the government wants to have any credibility, this text has to be made public. The people of the country and our nuclear scientists have a right to go through the text. It is an insult to the Left parties that at first you commit and then do not show the text.”

Claiming that the Congress leadership and the government had “disregarded” the majority voice in Parliament on the nuclear deal, Mr. Karat said the government had not been “transparent.”

Replying to a query if the Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee would be asked to resign, Mr. Karat said it would be for the Speaker to decide.

He said the Left fight against the deal would go on and hoped that the agreement with the U.S. would not become final. On future ties with the Congress, Mr. Karat said the current developments had shown that it would do anything to remain in power.

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