The Left-government stand off on the Indo-US nuclear agreement caused Leader of Opposition LK Advani to call up CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat — something that he has never done before. He called to seek CPI(M)’s support for a parliamentary motion against the deal under a rule that entails voting.
Advani told Karat that, since a majority of parties were against the deal, Parliament should reflect the situation to send a message to the government. Advani sent a copy of a draft of a motion under 184 to Karat.
The motion, which has been circulated to all constituents of the NDA and other parties, wanted the House to convey that “the 123 agreement must be renegotiated so as to ensure that the misgivings expressed by Parliament before and after the US Congress had passed the Hyde Act, India’s independence in regard to the country’s strategic and foreign policy is scrupulously protected.”
BJP leaders said Karat told Advani that he would discuss the issue with his party leaders. Later, according to them, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat spoke to BJP’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj, not ruling out the possibility of the Left considering a parliamentary debate with a vote.
BJP leaders said the government would find the going very tough in Parliament and outside if it could not resolve the trouble with the Left as it stood isolated on the 123 pact.
“Advani has spoken to Karat ...We are in touch with leaders of the Left and the UNPA," former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said when asked whether this party was in touch with parties opposed to the nuclear deal. "We are in touch with leaders of all political parties (opposed to the deal) for floor coordination," Sinha said. He rejected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in Parliament on the deal as a "bundle of same untruths, half-truths and pure white lies he has been dishing out day in and day out".
Advani and other NDA leaders made a fresh request to the Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to allow a discussion on the deal under Rule 184 that entails a vote. A separate notice was sent to Rajya Sabha secretariat by senior BJP leader M M Joshi for a similar discussion.