The government faces a major political battle in the wake of the US “disclosures” on the civil nuclear deal. For, the Left and the BJP have accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of “misleading” Parliament and the country.
The offensive follows the ‘disclosures’ in Washington Post that the US’ guarantees on supply of nuclear materials did not cover India’s right to conduct nuclear tests.
The Left and the BJP demanded Singh’s resignation and immediate convening of Parliament. But defending the official line, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government was not bound by any pronouncements other than the 123 Agreement.
The Atomic Energy Commission chairman and one of the main government negotiators for the deal, Anil Kakodkar, said the US disclosures did not take away anything India wanted.
Brushing aside the government arguments, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said the Left would bring a no-confidence motion against the government. As if on cue, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said the BJP would move a privilege motion and would not like to wait till October 17 when Parliament was due to meet again.
The “disclosures” seemed to disturb even the SP. Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “I heard about the letter. It has some truth, but External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee gave a different statement. So I am also in a dilemma.”
Karat said the Left, the BSP, TDP, JD(S) and others, which opposed the deal, would meet President Pratibha Patil in a couple of days to demand convening of the monsoon session of Parliament.
Karat said, “The only option left to them (UPA) is that the Prime Minister should quit. But neither will they convene Parliament session nor will they quit. It is a shameless government.”
Karat indicated that the government was trying its best not to allow a no-confidence motion, saying it had not prorogued the previous session so far and had only adjourned it sine die.