New-found bonhomie between government and the main opposition on the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill in Parliament led Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to call up senior BJP leader LK Advani and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to thank them for supporting the legislation.
Sources said Singh called up Advani on Wednesday evening after passage of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 in Lok Sabha, to thank him and his party for supporting the controversial Bill, which had seen frequent sparring between the government and BJP in the last few days.
During this telephonic conversation, Advani praised Leader of the House in Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee for taking several initiatives and accomodating BJP's point of view on contentious issues in the Bill.
Singh also called up Swaraj to thank her for her party's support to the government on the Bill.
Yesterday, during the debate on the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill 2010, a rare bonhomie was seen in the Lok Sabha between the Congress-led government and BJP with both patting each other for making the proposed legislation see the light of day.
Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan was the first one to reach out to the opposition when he gave credit to the erstwhile BJP-led NDA regime for initiating the Civil Nuclear regime.
"I would like to acknowledge here the work done by the then Government in 2002 (NDA) to start thinking about enacting a Civil Nuclear Liability Regime. The then Government could not complete its task, which fell to our domain to take that task further," Chavan said, while moving the Bill.
The principal opposition was not behind in showering praise on the government for the manner in which it tried to build a consensus among political parties on the Bill.
"I must sincerely commend the Minister of State, Prithviraj Chavan, for the energy, application and assiduity with which he has worked towards achieving a consensus. I have known him for quite a few years, and I have always commended and complimented him on his commitment," senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, who initiated the debate on behalf of his party, said.
He also commended Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee for his efforts.
"I am grateful also to the Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee who did us the courtesy of consulting with us without which several of the consultations would perhaps have not reached the stage of a consensus," Singh said.
Though Jaswant Singh's speech was critical of the government on certain aspects of the Civil Nuclear Bill, many considered it mild in content.