The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Truce hint in call for pause

New Delhi, Aug. 24: The CPM today said it saw no crisis for the UPA regime if it did not proceed with the nuclear agreement till all apprehensions were removed, indicating that they were inching towards a temporary truce.

“I don’t see it as a crisis. Where was it and where has it gone' What we are saying is don’t proceed without evaluation,” CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said.

A day after the CPM central committee authorised the politburo to take “necessary measures” to ensure the nuclear deal “is not operationalised”, Yechury once again asked the government to press the “pause” button. “We want the government to only press the pause button and not the stop or the eject button.”

Yechury, who is also leader of the CPM parliamentary party, said the government should not proceed with operationalising the deal till the implications of the Hyde Act were properly evaluated.

“You can’t have a mechanism to discuss the implications of the Hyde Act and simultaneously negotiate a safeguards agreement with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency),” he said.

“If the Hyde Act prevails, then it has very serious implications for the country.”

Replying to a question, the CPM leader said talks between the Left and the Congress could be held after Sonia Gandhi returns from South Africa and discusses the response to the central committee resolution with her party.

The CPM, however, tried to widen its canvas instead of focusing on the Indo-US deal alone. Yechury said while the nuclear pact had an impact on national sovereignty and independent foreign policy of the country, there were many other issues affecting millions of people that the party wanted to raise in Parliament.

“We want to raise major issues like price rise, law on unorganised sector workers and implementation of the Srikrishna commission and Sachar committee recommendations as well,” he said.

On the deal, the CPM leader demanded a “structured debate” in Parliament in which the government should reply.

The BJP, however, accused the Left of joining hands with the government to “delay or put off the debate”.

Talking to reporters, BJP spokesperson Vijay Kumar Malhotra asked when the “much-awaited” debate would take place. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should take Parliament into confidence over the negotiations on the deal as the uncertainty was affecting governance.

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