Although they have been breathing fire and brimstone for a fortnight now, the first signs of a softening of the Left stand on the Indo-US nuclear deal have appeared. CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury has said that the Left wants to make sure that the terms of the deal are reworked so that no government—this one or any other—operationalises it in its present form. In other words, the party’s priority is not to pull down the government but the terms of the deal which it deems detrimental to India’s interests. And the CPI(M) central committee meeting has said it doesn’t want the “current crisis” to affect the Manmohan Singh government.
Questions: Will the Left withdraw support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government if the Manmohan government goes ahead as the prime minister dared it to, or is it merely posturing? Is the Left really batting for India’s interests by opposing the deal in its present form or is it blinded by its ideological position? Are the Congress and the Left parties merely trying to buy time since neither is ready for mid-term polls? And is the BJP, which initiated the deal, opposing the deal merely for the heck of it?