The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Left back with Bhel trophy

New Delhi, Oct. 13: The Left parties have decided to return to the central coalition’s coordination panel from which they had walked out three months ago to protest the government’s decision to divest shares from Bhel.

The standoff was broken after UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi formally informed the Left last week that the divestment decision has been put on hold.

“The Left parties have considered the letter sent by Sonia Gandhi. The letter has conveyed the government’s decision not to proceed with the disinvestment of Bhel shares,” said a joint statement by four Left parties after a meeting this morning.

The Centre was forced to retreat after the Left stuck to its decision to “suspend” participation in the coordination committee.

Sonia’s letter, however, did not give any assurance on a key demand of the Left ' that the navratnas (the jewels in the public sector) be taken off the divestment wish list.

The Left, therefore, has fallen back on what it claimed was an “earlier” assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“The Prime Minister had earlier informed that the government does not intend to sell the shares of Bhel and other navratna companies,” the statement said.

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