Left-UPA stand off on Indo-US nuclear deal continues

June 25th, 2008 - 4:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 25 (ANI): Hours ahead of the United Progressive Alliance-Left Committee meeting to achieve a breakthrough in the impasse over the Indo-US Nuclear deal issue, Communist Party of India General Secretary A B Bardhan said if the Government operationalises the deal, we will not give them any green signal for going ahead.

Bardhans warning came as an under pressure External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee conveyed the adamant views of the Left to both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Sources close to the parleys said that the UPA Government is making a last ditch attempt after a face-saving formula on the vexed US-India nuclear deal.

Mukherjee and Defence Minister A.K. Antony met CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat on Wednesday morning to discuss a compromise formula.

Insistent on opposition to the deal, the Left parties termed the compromise formula to finalise the safeguards agreement at the IAEA as meaningless.

Bardhan said, “There is no change in our stand. We will hear what the government has to say.

Left leaders, who are unrelenting in their opposition to the agreement, were of the view that India will have no say when it seeks a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which is dominated by the US.

General Secretary of Forward Bloc and Parliamentarian Devbrat Biswa on Tuesday said they were looking forward to the Central Governments opinion on the deal.

“Till now, there has been no middle path regarding the 123 agreement with America. We are firm on the principles of our Left parties. This government cannot move forward with our support. We will see that what option does government gives us. But, we are still stiff to our principles,” said Biswas.

As a part of implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, India had concluded negotiations with IAEA on what the Safeguards Agreement would contain in February, but it could not be signed because of stiff opposition from the Left.

The Left has been opposing the deal on the grounds that the conditions laid down by the Hyde Act, a domestic US legislation, would impinge on India pursuing an independent foreign policy and make it “subservient” to US strategic interests worldwide.

The Left has objected to the 123 Agreement between the India and the US on civilian nuclear cooperation on the grounds that the Hyde Act binds it. (ANI)

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