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'PM's statements on N-deal binding on Govt'

CPI feels that with the N-deal's passage, the Indian Govt is trying to grow politically closer to the US, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2006 21:15 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s two statements in Parliament on the Indo-US nuclear are binding on the Government when it begins negotiating it next year, CPI(M) said on Monday.

The CPI(M)’s ally in the Left Bloc, CPI, however, said that it more and more appears that the deal was not necessary in the first place, and it is fueled by the Indian Government ’s efforts to attract US investment and grow politically closer to the US.

The two crucial UPA allies were reacting to Singh’s intervention in the Lok Sabha debate on the deal. The CPI(M)’s leader in the Lok Sabha Basudeb Acharia said that after Monday's intervention – where Singh said that India’s foreign policy and strategic interests would not be compromised – the Government will not be able to go back on the assurances Singh has given.

In the Monsoon session in August, Singh had given a detailed reply to CPIM’s apprehensions on the deal in an attempt to assuage its fears. "When negotiations begin, the Indian Govt would be under pressure from within the country. All the assurances given by the PM are now binding on the Government. On Tuesday, he would be again giving a statement in Rajya Sabha. There is no question of going back now," Acharia said.

The CPI, however, said that not only is the deal not necessary, but it is being done because of political considerations and business interests. "Even without a nuclear deal, we would have arranged for our own uranium. Moreover, the thrust of the US law is to wean away India from powers like China and force India to support US efforts against Iran," CPI MP, Sudhakar Reddy said.

Reddy said that it is not that the CPI does not trust the Prime Minister or on what he has told Parliament. "We fear that the US might take advantage of the deal. Many friends of the UPA too are not in favour of the deal. The Government should have held more discussions with the Left on the issue," Reddy said.

Email Sutirtho Patronobis: sutirthopatranobis@hindustantimes.com