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Home > News > Report

BJP, Left gear up for stormy N-deal discussion

August 16, 2006 20:05 IST

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Complete coverage: Indo-US nuclear deal

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, on Wednesday, challenged the Left to seek a 'sense of Parliament' on the India-US nuclear deal during Thursday's discussion on the pact, which it regards as a compromise with national interests.

The BJP has cited concerns raised by top scientists over the US legislation aimed at enabling nuclear energy supply to India as part of the deal.

BJP Parliamentary party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the Opposition would insist on the ruling United Progressive Alliance's communist supporters to make their position clear in the House on the nuclear pact.

"We will press them to ask for a sense-of-House resolution to make their position clear that they too oppose the deal," he said.

Last week, an NDA delegation led by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee called on President A P J Abdul Kalam to request his intervention over the Opposition's demands for a 'sense of House' resolution on the nuclear agreement.

The prime minister is slated to make a statement in Parliament on Thursday on the nuclear deal with the United States.

Meanwhile, the Left parties reminded Dr Singh on Wednesday that he should address their 'views and concerns' while outlining the country's stand on the sensitive issue.

Major Left party Communist Party of India (Marxist), which had been demanding that the sense of the House should be conveyed to Washington on the matter, hoped that Dr Singh's statement in Parliament would be in line with the 'alternative proposal' put forward by them last month.

Talking to reporters in Kolkata, senior Politburo leader and party member Sitaram Yechury said they were expecting the prime minister to follow the alternative proposals.

He also demanded a discussion on the sensitive deal involving all political parties.

The Left, which provides key outside support to the Congress-led government, had been critical about the UPA government's foreign policy, describing it as 'pro-US' and had made it clear that it will continue to remain 'an issue of contention'.

Commenting on the issue, Communist Party of India national secretary D Raja said, "When the prime minister makes a suo motu statement or when he responds to discussion, he must try to accomodate the views and concerns of the Left and other concerned parties."


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