New Delhi: Turning its rhetoric into reality, the four-party Left Front, which had provided crucial outside support to the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for some four years, plans to formally withdraw its support on Tuesday.
The Left parties, which have 59 Lok Sabha members, are slated to make an announcement mid-morning.
Splitsville: (L to R) A file photo of Revolutionary Socialist Party leader T.J. Chandrachoodan, CPI leader A.B. Bardhan, CPM leader Prakash Karat and Forward Bloc Leader Debabrata Biswas at a press conference.
The Communist Party of India (CPI), the CPM, the Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party “will meet in the morning and announce withdrawal of support later in the day”, said All India Forward Bloc national secretary G. Devarajan. “Now that the Prime Minister has made his intentions (to go ahead with the nuclear deal) clear, there is no question of any further discussions. We plan to withdraw support.”
“Since the Prime Minister...said he is going ahead with his decision, we will definitely act...,” added S. Ramachandran Pillai, member of the CPM politburo.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India will “very soon” approach the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) for a safeguards agreement for the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal where the “process will move very fast”.
Singh’s statement to journalists on board the aircraft to Sapporo in Japan for the G-8 summit came amid reports from the IAEA headquarters in Vienna that the board of the international nuclear watchdog will meet on 28 July to approve the nuclear deal’s safeguards agreement.
Singh also made it clear that government was not afraid of facing a test of strength if the Left parties withdraw support. He also said the government was “equipped to deal with numbers”.
The current crisis began on 18 June when the Congress-led UPA decided to postpone its meeting with the Left to discuss the nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, the UPA on Monday replied to the letter sent by the Left parties, who had set 7 July as the deadline to know the government’s plans to go to the IAEA.
The ruling dispensation has proposed a meeting of the UPA-Left committee on the nuclear deal on 10 July.
PTI contributed to this story.