Congress going ahead with N-deal even without Left

July 4th, 2008 - 11:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi , July 4 (ANI): Congress party on Friday claimed that it has numbers to go ahead with the Indo-US Civil Nuclear deal even if the Left withdraws support.

Senior party leader Veerappa Moily indicated that the Samajwadi Party is with the Government on the issue.

He, however, refused to divulge the time frame for approaching the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conclude an India specific safeguards agreement.

Moily termed the deadline set by the Left Parties for a Government response on IAEA agreement as unfortunate.

Party spokesman, Shakeel Ahmed welcomed the support of Samajwadi Party for the deal.

Earlier, the Left Parties set a deadline till Monday to know whether the Government is going ahead with the safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary, Prakash Karat said, a letter has been written to the External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee in the wake of various pronouncements by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leaders and the Union Ministers that the Government will go ahead with the deal.

He was briefing the media in New Delhi , after the meeting of the four Left Parties, CPI (M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc on Friday.

In a significant development, Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh met the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi on Friday and discussed the nuclear deal issue.

Talking to reporters after their meeting with the Prime Minister, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minster, Mulayam Singh Yadav said that he is satisfied with the Prime Minster’s clarifications over the deal.

The Samajwadi Party on Thursday also met the former President and noted nuclear scientist, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam who described the deal in the national interest and urged the Samajwadi Party to rise above political consideration to support the deal.

Mulayam Singh Yadav said he will consult the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) leaders about the outcome of its meeting with the Prime Minister.

In reply to a question, the Party General Secretary, Amar Singh said that deal is essential not only to meet the clean energy requirement but also to open India’s doors for nuclear commerce with other countries.

In a related development the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh is meeting the US President George W Bush on the sidelines of G-8 summit in Japan on July 9.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said that the United States is committed to get India the necessary exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group as per the July, 2005 agreement on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

The Prime Minister’s special envoy on the nuke deal Shyam Saran has already stated, India-specific safeguards agreement with IAEA is almost ready and will be concluded on receiving the political go-ahead.

On US Senator Gary Ackerman’s remarks on the tight timeline for concluding the nuclear deal, Menon said there is still enough time for going through the remaining three stages before the deal is operationlised.

Menon said India ’s participation in the Group provides it an opportunity to interact with other members of the NSG.

He said during bilateral meetings with such leaders, the Prime Minister will also discuss the NSG waiver with them. (ANI)

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