We have the numbers, IAEA only after trust vote: government

July 10th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) The government Thursday expressed the confidence that it has the numbers to prove its majority in parliament and reiterated it will face a floor test before finalising the India-specific safeguard agreement with the IAEA. Talking to reporters, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said: “It was unfortunate that Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat accused the government of hiding things from the people.”

He was reacting to Karat’s criticism after the text was distributed among the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board members Wednesday.

Ravi said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has 280-plus MPs to support it in a floor test.

“We stand by our commitment that we would face parliament before going to the IAEA Board of Governors. India has to attend the meeting and we will prove our majority before doing that.”

Ravi explained that distributing the text of the safeguards pact draft among the IAEA Board members was part of the procedure.

The text had not been released to the public earlier because that should be done simultaneously with distributing it to the board members, he said.

“It was unfortunate that a political party like CPI-M accused the government of hiding this text from the public. It was not expected from a leader like Prakash Karat,” Ravi said.

The four Left parties led by the CPI-M withdrew their support to the government, saying it had not shared the draft text with them. The government made the text public Thursday.

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