Left Parties criticise Government of Indias move to seek consensus on nuclear deal

March 3rd, 2008 - 7:45 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Mar 3 (ANI): Reacting to the statement made by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Monday said that it was ironical that the Centre would continue to seek political consensus over the nuke cooperation.

It is ironical that the statement to parliament says that the government will continue to seek a broad political consensus within the country, said a statement issued by the CPI-M.

The party further said that the Central Government should first respect the majority opinion expressed by parliament when the 123 agreement was discussed in the 2007 Winter Session of Parliament.

There is no political consensus and hence it should not proceed further with the agreement, said the statement

Earlier in the day, while giving suo motu statement on foreign policy-related developments in Lok Sabha, Mukherjee said: We will continue to seek broad political consensus within the country to take forward our engagement on this issue with other countries.”

Mukherjees statement draws attention to some statements by US officials regarding the applicability of the Hyde Act to the Indo-US nuke deal and asserts that the Hyde Act is applicable only to the US side and Indias rights are protected in the bilateral 123 agreement, said the statement.

The CPI-M statement pointed this was not correct as US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Panel on February 14 that: We will support nothing with India in the NSG that is in contradiction to the Hyde Act. It will have to be completely consistent with the obligations of the Hyde Act.

This has been the consistent position of the US regarding the applicability of the Hyde Act, the statement added,

Mukherjee and the CPI-Ms statements came a day before US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Bouchers two-day visit to India.

During last few weeks lot has been talked about deadline relating to the Indo-US nuke-deal. It faces an informal US deadline related to securing approval of America ’s Congress well before this year Presidential polls.

Three steps are required to operationalise the deal namely, safeguards 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. (ANI)

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