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Karat, Bardhan hold talks

Special Correspondent

Discuss political situation vis-À-vis India-U.S. nuclear deal

NEW DELHI: Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat on Saturday briefed his Communist Party of India counterpart A.B. Bardhan on the party’s Central Committee meeting that discussed the political situation arising out of the nuclear deal with the United States.

Mr. Karat visited the CPI headquarters at Ajoy Bhawan and held discussions with Mr. Bardhan. CPI national secretary and Rajya Sabha member D. Raja was present.

The Central Committee noted the objections and apprehensions voiced by scientists, public figures and intelligentsia on the nuclear deal. It fully endorsed the stand taken by the Polit Bureau that the bilateral agreement would bind India into a strategic alliance with the U.S. with long-term consequences.

The committee stated that while it did not want the “current crisis” over the deal to affect the UPA government, it was contingent upon the government not proceeding further.

The CPI national executive is beginning a two-day meeting from August 28 to discuss the deal and steps in the economic and political field, besides the government’s domestic and foreign policy.

The Karat-Bardhan meeting comes in the backdrop of the Congress core group deciding on Friday night to hold talks with the Left parties in a bid to break the impasse over the nuclear deal. Though the core group’s decision has not yet been formally conveyed to the Left parties, CPI(M) Polit Bureau and Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury met on Friday Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also had meetings with Mr. Yechury.

It is learnt that the two top Left party leaders also discussed the coming jathas and protest march from Kolkata and Chennai to Visakhapatnam against the joint naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal from September 4 to 8. The mass campaign and the road show during the same period will be used to highlight other issues – price rise and the government’s economic and domestic policies.

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