CPI-M rakes up fuel supplies issue, attacks n-deal

September 12th, 2008 - 10:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Charging the government with “consistently misleading the people”, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday said that US President George Bush’s informing the US Congress that there are no legally binding assurances on his country for fuel supplies to India contradicted its assurances to India. “The Bush administration once more proves that the government of India has consistently misled the people of this country,” the politburo of the CPI-M said in a statement here.

“On all these issues, it is the Hyde Act which has prevailed,” the party said in a reference to the enabling US legislation that gave the US administration an exemption from Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act to commence nuclear commerce with India.

The government has clarified that it rejects “prescriptive provisions” in the Hyde Act and underlined that it is only bound by the 123 India-US bilateral agreement which contains no reference to testing and is strong on fuel guarantees in case of a disruption due to internal or external factors.

“The presidential determination sent to the US Congress contradicts the claim made by the government of India that it has got guarantees for permanent fuel supplies and on perpetual safeguards,” said the CPI-M.

The covering note of the presidential determination states that there are no legally binding assurances on the US for fuel supplies. The wording of the determination has evoked concerns in New Delhi.

The presidential determination has paved the way for a consideration by the Congress to approve the nuclear deal. Manmohan Singh is likely to sign the 123 pact with Bush when he meets him in Washington Sep 25.

The BJP also seized the issue to attack the government for “consistently misleading” the country on fuel guarantees.

The Congress, however, sought to downplay these anxieties.

“The commitment given by the top executive authority or by the head of the government, carries the weight of the solemn assurance of the government behind it,” Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said here.

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