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Senate test crucial for deal

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 22:35 IST

Having cleared the first legislative hurdle in the US Congress, with a "ringing endorsement" in the House International Relations Committee, voting 37 - 5 in favour, the Indo-US nuclear deal faces similar passage in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.

The legislation, sources said, conforms in letter and spirit to the July 18, 2005 agreement between the US President and the Indian Prime Minister. Cheered by the margin of Tuesday's vote, "after all the critics had fired," sources said the vote, "in record time" was a "major positive" for bilateral relations. That potential 'deal busting' amendments were voted down was an indication of how much effort both governments had put into the deal, sources said.

Also, despite "serious reservations and apprehensions" about the legislation by the CPI(M) Polit Buro, officials on Wednesday expressed "quiet satisfaction" from specific references to criteria which automatically rule out the legislation being extended to countries such as Pakistan.