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UPA won't turn Left, says N-deal on right track

CNN-IBN
Aug 09, 2007 at 12:29pm IST

New Delhi: The UPA Government on Wednesday put up a brave front on the nuclear deal issue in the face of opposition from the Left parties, which have warned the government not to go ahead with implementing the 123 Agreement.

Reacting to the Left stand on the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement, PMO sources told CNN-IBN that neither is the government going to re-negotiate the deal with the US, nor is it ready to go back to Parliament with this issue.

The BJP and its allies are, meanwhile, gearing up to put the government in the dock in Parliament over the nuclear deal by seeking a discussion in Lok Sabha under a rule, which entails voting.

FROM HORSE'S MOUTH: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to address Parliament on Indo-US nuclear deal on Monday.

"There is no question of seeking Parliament’s approval on the nuclear deal," PMO sources said.

The PMO sources dismissed the Left's demand that Parliament clear this deal and subsequent international treaties. They also rejected the BJP's demand for a vote on the agreement in Parliament.

They say the PM will allay the fears of the Left and the Right when he addresses Parliament next week

On Tuesday, the Left parties had rejected the nuclear deal and asked the Centre not to proceed with operationalising it. The Left, which is supporting the UPA Government at the Centre from outside, however, has not spelt out how they were going to oppose the deal in Parliament.

"We have not discussed our Parliament strategy. We will discuss it further separately," CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat said.

Asked whether their unhappiness on the deal may lead to the withdrawal of support, Karat remained non-committal, saying it was a separate issue which has not been discussed.

The Congress has, meanwhile, tried to downplay the Left opposition, saying the Left apprehensions about the nuclear deal are misplaced.

"All concerns and sensitivities in the national interest have been considered and protected. The nation and the supporting parties should share the abiding faith of the Prime Minister, the UPA government and the Congress party," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.

He claimed that there was a single-minded pro-India focus in the deal. "From an isolationist phase of no-duel use technology, there is innumerable items of duel use available. There is no legal commitment on testing has been imposed. All three phases of nuclear cycle fully protected. All apprehensions are misplaced," Singhvi said.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also said that the government hoped to settle the issues with the Left through discussion. "We will talk to them (Left parties)," he said.

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