PM building a national consensus on nuke deal, says Narayanan

November 14th, 2007 - 10:30 am ICT by admin  

On Board Air India One, Nov. 11 (ANI): As the Winter Session of the Parliament is set to begin on Thursday with a discussion on the contentious Indo-US nuclear deal, the UPA Government has already started to build a national consensus on the issue by addressing the concerns expressed by various political leaders, including the opposition BJP.

Recently National Security Advisor M K Narayanan had met top BJP leaders, L.K. Advani, Jaswant Singh and Rajnath Singh, and sought to address their concerns about the deal.

Narayanan, who is accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a two-day visit to Russia, told reporters onboard Air India One that the Government has explained to the BJP leaders in ‘great detail’, about India’s strategic programme and why 123-agreement would never affect it.

“In fact, there are other aspects of 123-agreement that will enhance our strategic programme,” Narayanan said.

He said the explanation was necessary since former NSA Brajesh Mishra had expressed fears that India’s strategic concern might be compromised by the 123-agreement.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had earlier stated that he is trying to build a national consensus on the deal, seems to have won over the Left Front for the time being.

The Left, which offers crucial outside support to the UPA Government, appears to have mellowed down in recent weeks and, given signs of not completely opposing to the US-India pact inked on July 18, 2005.

Earlier this week, CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat met both Prime Minister Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi over a working lunch and agreed to discuss the latter’s August 13 statement made in the Parliament over the 123-agreement.

The BJP, which recently demanded that the deal be renegotiated, has also agreed to participate in the debate over the nuclear deal in the Parliament, even if the debate does not entail voting.

While some sections of the BJP have agreed to support the government over the nuclear deal, hardliners within the party are not keen about doing so. (ANI)

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