UPA taking forward NDA’s initiative on n-deal: Digvijay

July 18th, 2008 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, July 18 (IANS) The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, facing confidence vote in the Lok Sabha over differences on the India-US civil nuclear deal, was only taking forward a pact initiated by the previous BJP-led coalition government, Congress leader Digivijay Singh said Friday. “The conditions on which we are proceeding with the deal are much better than what the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had planned,” Digvijay Singh told reporters in Lucknow.

Discussions on the much debated deal were initiated during the regime of then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The BJP was now opposing the nuclear deal simply because it was not in power, Digvijay Singh said.

He added that the UPA government had similarly taken forward the introduction of value-added tax (VAT) regime and public disinvestment policy started by the BJP government.

Expressing his gratitude to Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for his well considered stance on the nuclear deal, Digvijay Singh called upon other political parties to vote in favour of the deal.

The Congress leader hoped that the “interest of the nation” would be taken into consideration by all parliamentarians while voting on confidence vote.

“Either they (MPs of opposition parties) vote for or against the UPA government or abstain, we are hopeful everyone takes a wise decision,” he said.

“We will contest all 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, but our doors are open to a possible political agreement.”

Singh seconded Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s claim that young MPs from other parties, even from the BJP, were in favour of the nuclear deal. Gandhi made the comment to reporters Wednesday during a visit to his constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress-led UPA government faces a crucial floor test in the Lok Sabha July 22 to prove its majority following the withdrawal of support by its erstwhile communist allies.

Digvijay Singh said he wondered how the Left parties, “which supported our government to keep out communal forces, were now joining with the BJP to vote out the government”.

He termed as baseless Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s allegations that the Congress was using the Central Bureau of Investigation to build pressure on her to vote for the UPA government.

The Congress leader said the CBI probe against the chief minister on charges of amassing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income was being conducted on the directions of the Supreme Court, and not the government.

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