India should wait for new US president for n-deal: CPI-M

March 3rd, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) The Left parties Monday rejected the government’s assertion that the Hyde Act, passed by the US Congress, was not binding on the country in the context of the India-US nuclear deal, and reiterated that New Delhi should not go ahead with operationalisation of the contentious agreement. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which supports Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, said the government should wait for the change of guard in the US to take the deal ahead.

“We don’t agree with the government’s stand that the Hyde Act’s implications do not exist for India,” CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury told reporters in the parliament house building.

“The legislation (Hyde Act) in the US has given waiver to enter into agreement under certain conditions and these conditions are laid out in the Hyde Act,” Yechury said.

“We don’t think that the government should proceed to operationalise the deal,” the Rajya Sabha member said categorically.

Yechury’s reaction came hours after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee clarified in the Lok Sabha that the Hyde Act was an “enabling provision that is between the executive and the legislative organs of the US government”.

“India’s rights and obligations regarding civil nuclear cooperation with the US arise only from the bilateral 123 agreement that we have agreed upon with the US,” Mukherjee said in a suo moto statement on foreign policy-related developments in the Lok Sabha.

Refusing to accept Mukherjee’s claims, Yechury said the Hyde Act had provisions with implications for India’s independent foreign policy, implications for India’s sovereignty as it draws the country into a military alliance with the US, and that it also draws New Delhi into the security strategy of the US, South Asia as well as globally.

According to Yechury, although US President George W. Bush had signed some communications stating the conduct of the US foreign policy was a presidential prerogative, “every president can interpret it in their own way.”

“The US is going for presidential elections soon. Why are you (the Indian government) in a hurry? Let’s see what’s the new administration’s stance,” he said.

Smaller Left parties also warned the government of “serious consequences” if it went ahead and operationalised the deal.

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