| hunt for consensus: Manmohan Singh with Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Aug. 2: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has warned his Left allies that it will be the “end of the day” for his government if they vote with the BJP for a parliamentary resolution on the nuclear deal.
Singh raised the issue at a meeting with a CPI team led by Gurudas Das Gupta, saying such a move would “irretrievably” destabilise his government.
Das Gupta, who had clashed with the CPM over the resolution last week, however, washed his hands of the issue. He said it was the CPM — not his party — that was the prime mover behind the resolution.
At a news conference last week, Das Gupta had declared that the CPI “cannot be a party to a resolution with the BJP”. But CPM general secretary Prakash Karat rebuffed him at a Left meeting later, saying the House could not express its “sense” without the main Opposition party.
The Prime Minister’s remark follows defence minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement to the Left that the Centre will neither accept a resolution nor a motion for discussion on the nuclear deal in the House.
Singh appears to be getting restive about the Left’s continued criticism on foreign policy and economic reforms. Last month, he had asked CPI leader D. Raja what the Left planned to “do” with his government.
With the draft nuclear bill being passed in the US House of Representatives subsequently, differences between the ruling partners have only got worse.
The CPM has been refusing to budge from its stand for a resolution on the deal despite feelers from the government. It is insisting that the House express its “sense” on the deal and lay down par- ameters within which the government must conduct negotiations.
Even today, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury dodged a direct reply, claiming talks were on with the government to thrash out a form in which Parliament can express itself.
“We want the House to reaffirm that the government will not go beyond the parameters set down in the July Indo-US nuclear agreement,” he said at a news conference.
“There could be a statement by the presiding officers of the two Houses and that could be adopted by Parliament. Or the Prime Minister can make a statement that will be based on a draft agreed on by all sides.”