Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday asserted that the decision to go ahead with the India-US nuclear deal was taken by the Union Cabinet and all constituents of the UPA were party to it.
Responding to a question on how his UPA colleagues like Sharad Pawar and M Karunanidhi were having reservations on the deal in addition to the Left, the PM, en route to New Delhi from Johannesburg, said the decision to go ahead was taken with everyone on board.
<b1>The PM expressed hope that the deal would go through after a consensus was achieved through detailed discussions with the Left. “The process is continuing and it is not fair to comment on it. We will make every effort to go ahead on the basis of this consensus following wide-ranging discussions which will enable us to move forward.”
Asked if the deal would finally go through since even the US State Department had expressed hope that it would be clinched by 2008, he said: “There are some difficulties. We have to find a way out. I have not given up hope”.
Was the uncertainty affecting his work? “Let us be honest. When things do not work out, it does affect,” he said. “As I said at the HT Summit, it is not the end of life. Ours is not a one issue government.”
He reacted strongly to the BJP’s demand for his resignation. “The BJP of all parties has the least moral right to make such a demand. Look at the holocaust in Gujarat. Advani who was in charge, gave certificates to all. They failed to uphold principles of governance. Look at the Agra Summit fiasco. We all know how the war in Kargil started. The BJP is least qualified to attack us”.