CPI-M politburo meeting begins, likely to discuss Indo-US N-deal

November 14th, 2007 - 10:28 am ICT by admin  

This meeting assumes significance as CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and CPI general secretary A B Bardhan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi to discuss the matter pertaining to bilateral nuclear agreement on Saturday.

Yesterday, the Left and the UPA decided to discuss Singh’s Monsoon Session statement on the 123-agreement during the next week’s Parliament’s Winter Session.

The Left agreed to hold the discussion at the commencement of the session, beginning on November 15.

On August 13, Manmohan Singh had assured the Lok Sabha that the civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the US would completely adhere to July 18, 2005 pact and March 2, 2006 separation plan.

“Let me hence reiterate once again that a decision to undertake a future nuclear test would be our sovereign decision, one that rests solely with the Government. There is nothing in the Agreement that would tie the hands of a future Government or legally constrain its options to protect India’s security and defence needs,” the Prime Minister had then said to the Lok Sabha.

However, the opposition BJP has alleged that the 123-agreement in its present form affects India’s right to conduct future nuclear test, and has demanded a renegotiation of the deal.

During yesterday’s meeting, it was also decided that the next meeting of the UPA- Left’s special committee be convened as soon as possible.

The 15-member panel of the UPA-Left committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal, which was scheduled to meet for the sixth time on November 16, was postponed in the wake of the commencement of the Parliament session.

The special committee convened by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee was formed to resolve disagreements between the two sides over the nuclear deal.

The nuke-deal faces an informal US deadline related to securing approval of America’s Congress well before the next year presidential polls.

Three more steps are required to operationalise the deal that include, safeguard agreement with the IAEA, amendment in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group’s charter and the passing of the 123-agreement by the US Congress.

The deal had brought the UPA government to the brink of collapse as the Left parties, that provide outside support to the coalition government, threatened to withdraw its support if the pact is pursued.

The communists have rejected the deal, saying it hurts India’s sovereignty and imposes US hegemony. (ANI)

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