For Manmohan, N-deal was not a prestige issue

Updated on Oct 25, 2007 02:54 AM IST

He, however, felt failure could bring into question credibility of the government, country, reports Vinod Sharma.

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Hindustan Times | ByVinod Sharma, New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is "doing his job" without being distracted by reports that the logjam over the Indo-US nuclear deal has left him 'sad, depressed, dejected or lonely', sources in the PMO said on Wednesday.



The sources contested BJP's claim that reports about Singh having been "embarrassed and pained by the (nuclear deal) fiasco" were based on leaks the PMO engineered after his October 22 meeting with UPA allies. "Nobody in the PMO conveyed this impression to anybody. It's also not a factual reflection of the PM's stand," they said.



At his meeting with UPA leaders in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the PM did not make the deal an issue of personal prestige. He felt the failure to move forward could bring into question the credibility of the government and the country.



Singh buttressed the collective responsibility argument by reminding the NCP's Sharad Pawar, the RJD's Lalu Yadav and the DMK's TR Baalu that the agreement sought to be stalled by the Left was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Even the UPA coordination committee backed the deal at its August 19 meeting at the PM's residence.



The sources said the PM's stand on the issue was best reflected in his comments at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on October 12. He did not give up on the deal but said he was disappointed that it has run into problems.



As a proof of the assertion that his wasn't a "single-issue" government, Singh will sit down with the Planning Commission and PMO official on Friday to review implementation of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) and draw up his government's priorities for the next six months. Preparations are simultaneously underway for his November visit to the Russian Federation that should satisfy sceptics about his future plans.

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