CPI-M to PM: Don’t forget Tarapur, walk out of n-dealSeptember 17th, 2008 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) Even as the India-US nuclear deal is set to be wrapped up this month, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Wednesday stirred fuel blockade anxieties that stalked the Tarapur plant and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “to walk out of the deal” if it did not meet India’s expectations. The CPI-M, a staunch opponent of the nuclear deal, contended that the 123 India-US civil nuclear agreement was “almost identical” to the Tarapur accord of 1963 under which India was “forced to run from pillar to post for fuel after the US unilaterally terminated the Tarapur 123 agreement”.
Reminding the government of the bitter experience of the Tarapur nuclear plant, the party reiterated that provisions in the 123 agreement are “inimical to India’s interests.”
The CPI-M alleged that despite claims by the government, India will not have any uninterrupted fuel supply assurance and will have to place its civilian reactors under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards in perpetuity without fuel supply guarantee.
“With the documents accompanying the presidential determination, the US has made its intentions clear - this 123 Agreement is no different from the earlier Tarapur one, with all the Tarapur problems,” the party said in a statement.
“And India can again land into the Tarapur mess, as the right of the US to terminate the agreement is an unfettered one,” the party said.
The CPI-M’s unsparing critique of the nuclear deal comes in the midst of frenzied efforts by the Bush administration to get the Congressional approval for the 123 agreement so that it can be signed when Manmohan Singh meets US President George W. Bush in Washington Sep 25.
Repudiating the government’s assurances on strategic reserve of fuel, the party alleged that the 123 accord would not provide India access to full civilian nuclear technology and New Delhi’s claim to have won the right to reprocess spent fuel is only notional.
Most importantly, the party charged that the US can unilaterally terminate the 123 agreement and suspend all fuel supplies immediately and New Delhi will be asked to asked to align its foreign policy to that of the US, particularly on Iran.
Determined to play the sceptic right till the end, the CPI-M, which leads the four-party Left Front, demanded that the prime minister “fulfil his pledge to the nation that he will walk away from the nuclear deal if it does not meet India’s expectations”.
Alluding to the US presidential determination that was sent to Congress for approval of the implementing 123 pact, the party said: “All these points raised by the Left parties have been confirmed by the documents accompanying the US Presidential Determination and have exposed the hollowness of the claims made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in parliament.”