Prime minister owes explanation on nuclear deal: Karat (Lead)

September 25th, 2008 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should explain to the people as to why he was engaging in the India-US civilian nuclear deal, Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), said here Thursday.Karat said: “The prime minister should give an explanation to the people of the country after returning from the US. Conflicting reports are coming on the deal. So, the prime minister is responsible for clearing the people’s doubt about what happened in the US during his visit.”

Alleging that Manmohan Singh was surrendering India’s strategic interest to the US day by day to operationalise the deal, Karat said the deal was harmful to India’s interests.

Manmohan Singh is currently in the US as part of a 10-day visit during which he hopes to finalise the nuclear deal.

“The Hyde Act of the US Congress determines the contours of the deal with India, including the 123 agreement,” Karat said while addressing a sit-in organised by the Left parties and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) at the Jantar Mantar on Parliament Street.

The sit-in was organised as part of the all India protest by the Left parties and the like-minded parties against the signing of the nuclear deal and bypassing of parliament by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

As elections are imminent in both the US and India, let the new governments of the two countries decide on the nuclear deal, Karat said.

“We have launched our fight against the deal,” Karat said while urging all democratic and patriotic forces to fight the Manmohan Singh government’s strategic alliance with the US.

He reiterated that the deal would be cancelled in case a government supported by the Left and like-minded parties comes to power at the centre.

The next government should cancel the deal by giving a six-month notice - a provision in the 123 agreement, the CPI-M leader said.

The Left parties along with the JD-S and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also organised a protest within the parliament house premises that was attended by at least 50 MPs.

H.D. Deve Gowda, JD-S leader and former prime minister, described the India-US nuclear deal as a betrayal of the country and the people. He urged the government to immediately convene parliament session.

Rajesh Verma, BSP leader in the Lok Sabha, led a small group of party MPs to attend this protest.

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