Congress still hopeful towards Indo-US nuclear deal

June 27th, 2008 - 10:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 27 (ANI): The Congress party today said that all the allies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government were in support of the Indo-US nuclear deal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was under no pressure from the US government to seal it.
Spokesperson of the party Shakeel Ahmed said: “The Prime Minister is working for the deal because the deal is beneficial for the country .Congress President Sonia Gandhi and all UPA alliance partners are with the government and the Prime Minister on the deal. So this is our collective effort to see this deal through.”
The communists, who prop up the ruling coalition in parliament, say they will bring down the government if it goes ahead with the deal.
But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has invested much of his personal reputation in a deal seen as forging a closer trade and diplomatic ties with Washington, appears eager to go ahead with the deal despite opposition from the left.
A meeting between the two sides ended on Wednesday with an agreement only to meet once again. No date was given for the next encounter.
The pact, which gives India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and technology, is potentially worth billions of dollars to the U.S. and European nuclear technology companies and would give India more energy alternatives to drive a booming trillion-dollar economy.
Sonia Gandhi has been meeting the non-communist allies of her coalition over the past few days to discuss the government’s stance.
Many of these allies would prefer an election in early 2009, hoping the Government will be able to rein in rising prices.
The deal still needs clearances from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors and the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group. Then it would have to go to the U.S. Congress for final approval.
But it might already be getting too late as the United States gears up for Presidential elections. U.S. Ambassador to India, David Mulford, reportedly met top government officials on June 24 to discuss the deal. (ANI)

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