In India, a bloc of leftist parties is withdrawing support to the
Congress-led coalition to protest the government's decision to go ahead
with a controversial civilian nuclear deal with the United States. But
as Anjana Pasricha reports, the government is expected to continue in
power with the support of a regional party.
The decision by four left-wing and communist parties to take back support from the Congress-led coalition came as no surprise.
was triggered by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that the
government will seek approval from the International Atomic Energy
Agency "very soon" for a civilian nuclear deal signed with the United
The head of the Communist Party of India (Marxist),
Prakash Karat, said in New Delhi that the decision was inevitable in
view of the government's decision to press ahead with the deal.
you are aware the left parties decided that if the government goes to
the IAEA Board of governors, they will withdraw support. In view of
the prime minister's announcement, that time has come," he said.
communist parties strongly oppose the deal, saying it will give
Washington too much influence over India's foreign policy and
nuclear weapons program. They say they will formally withdraw support
The government, whose term expires next year, does
not have a majority in parliament and had depended on the outside
support extended by the 59 lawmakers of the leftist parties.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is currently in Japan to attend the
G8 summit, says the stability of his government will not be affected by
the decision of the leftist parties to walk out.
minister's confidence is based on a political deal the Congress Party
recently struck with a former adversary, the Samajwadi Party.
Samajwadi Party had earlier opposed the nuclear pact. But its leader,
Amar Singh, has now pledged to back the Congress Party.
Singh says all members of parliament in his party will vote to support both the government and the nuclear deal in parliament.
nuclear deal will give India access to civilian nuclear technology,
although it has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The
Congress Party has been strongly pitching for the pact, saying it is in
national interest and will give India access to nuclear energy to meet
its future needs.