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Left attacks PM again over nuclear deal

CPI(M) says Manmohan Singh's repeated offer to come back to the House before operationalising the deal showed his "obsession" to fulfill his commitment to US President George W Bush.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 01, 2008 11:08 PM IST

In a fresh attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, CPI(M) on Tuesday said his repeated offer to come back to Parliament before operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal showed his "obsession" to fulfill his commitment to President George W Bush and amounted to "disregard" for Parliament.

A day after Singh talked about bringing back the nuclear issue to Parliament, CPI(M) issued a statement saying if the Prime Minister's proposal was accepted, it would "mean fait accompli" as the only step left would be the vote in the US Congress.
The Left party said that both Houses of Parliament have already, in December last year, "comprehensively" discussed the 123 Agreement and negotiations which have been completed with the US.

"It is on record that except for the UPA parties, all other parties, which constitute the majority, expressed reservations about the 123 agreement and urged the government not to proceed further," it said.

"Hence, the repetition of the proposal by the Prime Minister shows disregard for Parliament. It reveals nothing but an obsession to fulfill the commitment made to President Bush in July 2005 in which the people of this country and Parliament had no say," the CPI(M) said.

The CPI(M) statement said the 123 agreement was not put before Parliament before it was signed.

"As soon as the text of the 123 agreement was made public, the Left parties and other political parties, which represent a majority in Parliament, came out against it," it said.

It said the text of the Safeguards Agreement, negotiated with the IAEA, has not been shown either to the UPA-Left Committee or made public.

"The government now insists on going ahead for getting the (IAEA) Board's approval without anyone seeing the text or the UPA-Left Committee giving its concurrence," it said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said he would come to Parliament "before I proceed to operationalise (the deal). What can be more reasonable than this?"

Breaking his silence on the nearly fortnight-long standoff between the UPA and the Left parties on the issue, he told senior journalists: "If Parliament feels you (government) have done some wrong, so be it."

"All that I want is the authority to proceed with the process of negotiations through all stages like the IAEA and NSG that will not not tie down the hands of the country," he said.

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