The meeting of the UPA-Left committee on October 22 is unlikely to bridge the gap between the two sides on the Indo-US nuclear deal, though it may be crucial in terms of political decisions.
So far the UPA has maintained that the 123 Agreement, when implemented, would take precedence over the India-specific Hyde Act. But Left sources said, “The 123 Agreement is in full conformity with the Hyde Act. The Left is not at all convinced with the UPA’s arguments that the agreement would override the act,” a source said.
In principle, the US follows the concept of “later in time” while enforcing a law. This means that when two laws are in conflict, the latter would prevail.
"The UPA is arguing that references to India's foreign policy in the Hyde Act are extraneous. But we are saying that there is no conflict between the agreement and the Hyde Act as the act is built into the 123 Agreement. This has been made amply clear by US officials like Nicholas Burns and Richard Boucher," the Left sources said.
The UPA also referred to President George W Bush's signing statement on the Hyde Act saying its provisions regarding India's foreign policy are "advisory".
But what if future US presidents do not interpret the provisions of the Hyde Act in the same manner, the Left wanted to know.