We want both- nuclear deal and UPA government, says Congress

November 14th, 2007 - 2:40 am ICT by admin  
“We want both,” quipped Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi when asked whether the party was ready to save the coalition by sacrificing the deal.

This comes amidst rising political temperatures in the national capital after UPA convened an emergency meeting where an ‘embarrassed’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reportedly hinted to resign from the office because of the prospects of retreating back from the Indo-US nuclear deal in the wake of Left’s opposition over the bilateral agreement.

The Congress party today also criticised the Left Front Government in West Bengal over the scam in its Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) that has raised the banner of revolt in several districts of the State, as angry villagers are going on a rampage and looting the food grain warehouses.

Criticising the State Government for not fulfilling the basic needs of common people in the State, the Congress spokesperson said, “Food grain availability is the paramount need of poor people.”

The party today also dismissed reports of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation.

Singh, who had said that the failure of operationalising the deal would not mean the end of the day as his party was not a single-issue government and had several other agendas to fulfil, had earlier stated that he was still hopeful of the deal.

Meanwhile, Left leaders are also meeting ahead of their with talks with the UPA government and speculations are rife that today’s meet could be the last one.

CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury had expressed his hope that the meeting would be the last one with CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan making it clear that during Monday’s meeting the UPA government should officially state that the nuclear deal has been put on hold.

As the October month is coming to an end, the deadline for getting a safeguard agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also drawing near that has led to an assessment that the bilateral could be difficult to operationalise as steps like amendment in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group’s charter and the passing of the 123-agreement with the IAEA by the Congress would follow only after that.

The civilian nuclear cooperation deal aims to lift a three-decade ban on sales of US nuclear fuel and reactors to India, which was imposed after it conducted a nuclear test in 1974 while staying out of non-proliferation agreements.

The Left Front, which provides crucial support to the government from outside, has been opposing the deal and the situation between UPA and Left reached a nadir, sparking the prospect of snap elections. (ANI)

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