Congress hails nuclear deal, opposition screams surrender

October 2nd, 2008 - 4:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) The ruling Congress termed it “historic” while the opposition panned it as a surrender to US imperialism. Reactions to the US Senate Thursday clearing the India-US civil nuclear deal with a resounding 86-13 majority were predictably diverse.“It is a historic day. The deal is in the interest of India. It is a recognition of India as a superpower and the triumph of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s vision,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, who has been vigorously defending the deal at many forums, said the passage of the nuclear deal by the US Senate would silence all critics.

“It is beneficial for everyone, whether rich or poor. Everyone wants power,” Siba maintained.

While the Congress exulted, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) maintained that the government had stepped into a blind trap knowingly and would not be able to get out of it easily.

“We have acceded to the nuclear non-proliferation regime with the India-US nuclear deal. Our sovereignty has been mortgaged as all obligations (pertaining to the deal) are on India and all privileges are with the US,” said BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

“The statement of the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has vindicated the BJP’s stand that India can no longer hold nuclear tests and has lost its right to conduct nuclear test in perpetuity. This may be a victory for the UPA government but India has lost in the long run,” Rudy said.

The Left parties, which withdrew support from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in July over differences on the nuclear deal, said they would step up their protests despite the US Senate’s resounding endorsement.

“We will observe Oct 4, the day US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in New Delhi to sign the India-US civil nuclear deal, as Black Day and will protest the surrender to US imperialism,” said Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Nilotpal Basu.

A Vijayraghavan, the party’s central secretariat member and chief whip in the Rajya Sabha said Prime Minister Singh had damaged parliamentary procedures and neglected the sentiments of people.

“The US has succeeded in clearing every democratic procedure in haste to finalise the deal which ultimately favours them but Manmohan Singh has undermined out parliamentary democratic set up and neglected the sentiments of the people,” he said.

Rice, who played a pivotal role to secure the passage of the deal with numerous meetings and phone calls to lawmakers, is expected to carry the deal package to New Delhi Saturday.

She and India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee may sign the bilateral 123 agreement to operationalise the deal.

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