New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government may lose the support of the Left even before he heads to the G-8 summit in Japan next week where he will meet world leaders, including US President George W. Bush.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, the principal Leftist group, is “likely to pull out even before the Prime Minister goes to the G-8 meeting,” claimed a CPM party member on condition of anonymity.
This person spoke after Singh made a rare public assertion of his intent to go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal, disregarding threats by the Left to withdraw its support. The G-8 meeting will take place on 7-8 July.
“Why should the CPM provide comfort to the Prime Minister when he goes to the G-8 summit, now that it is convinced that the Centre is going ahead with it?” said this person.
“We are more concerned about his (the Prime Minister’s) motives. There could be some shock in store for him.”
Singh, who offered to introduce the Indo-US nuclear deal in Parliament before making it operational, said, all he wanted was the authority to proceed with negotiations “through all stages”, including taking it to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The Prime Minister also claimed that he would be able to address the concerns of all parties over the deal, including those of the Left.
A senior national leader from the Left said further decisions on the issue would be taken at a 4 July meeting of Left parties. The UPA is now counting on the support of the Samajwadi Party (SP), which has 39 members in the Lok Sabha, to offset the possible loss of Left support of 59 MPs and still remain in office.
Meanwhile, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) said it would attend a crucial meeting of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), a group of eight regional parties, on 3 July. The SP is the main constituent of this so-called third-front.
A close associate of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, who asked not to be named, said he was told by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday that he had received “proposals” from the Congress, and that the UNPA needed to “review our (the third-front’s) stand on the nuclear deal.”
(C.R. Sukumar in Hyderabad and PTI contributed to this story.)