The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has committed to buy $70 billion worth energy from the "dying US nuclear industry", Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said in New Delhi on Thursday.
"India is committing to buy a minimum 10,000 MW (worth $70 billion) from the dying US nuclear industry, which has not received any new order for the last 30 years," Karat said in a press conference convened to urge the government not to sign the nuclear deal as "It will be a surrender."
Karat cited a letter he said was written by Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon to US Under Secretary William Burns on Sep 10 to substantiate his statement.
"It is going to indemnify suppliers from all consequences of a nuclear accident," the CPI-M leader warned.
The letter, copies of which CPI-M released to media, states: "It is the intention of the Government of India and its entities to commence discussions with US nuclear energy firms, and conclude agreements after entry into force of the Agreement for cooperation in the construction of nuclear power units at least two sites approved by the Government of India, which would be capable of generating a minimum of 10,000 MW on the basis of mutually acceptable technical and commercial terms and conditions that enable a viable tariff regime for electricity generated."
Karat said: "The US Congress has adopted an Act to approve the 123 Agreement. This Act is the Hyde Act plus (a) version, which has key provisions of the Hyde Act and much more."
If the Congress-led government still goes ahead and signs the 123 Agreement, it will be a complete surrender to the US and a betrayal of India's vital interests, he said.
"The Manmohan Singh government has been claiming that the Hyde Act will be overridden by the last Act passed by the US Congress as per US jurisprudence. Now the last Act contains all the Hyde Act restrictions and they have been made more explicit," the CPI-M leader added.