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N-deal: Govt asked to spell strategy on conditionalities
August 23, 2006 21:32 IST
Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday asked the government to spell out its strategy in case extraneous conditionalities were incorporated in the US legislation with regard to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
Initiating a discussion on Indo-US nuclear Agreement, CPM leader Basudeb Acharya said the two House Committees of Senate and US Congress have drafted a Bill and it has been found that there are `clear departures' on some of the important issues pertaining to the deal.
"In both the Bills, US is shifting the goalposts," Acharya said, adding that "The US is seeking India's full support in imposing sanctions on Iran and if possible contain Iran from production of weapons of mass production."
There are such other `extraneous conditions' and if they were incorporated in the Bill, this will hamper India's research and development programme in case of atomic and nuclear energy, he said.
"In view of these provisions being proposed by US, we are seeking a discussion and sense of Parliament. This will strengthen the hands of prime minister," Acharya said. He also said that the aspect of energy security was not important, as has been projected by the government, as nuclear power was the costliest among thermal, hydro and nuclear.
Nuclear power will cost as much as Rs 6 a unit, Acharya said, adding that US wants India to develop nuclear power so that they can sell their old breeders to India. "If nuclear power is so important for energy security, why has the US not set up a new nuclear power station in the last 30 years."
Acharya said there lies a huge potential for harnessing hydel power of over 1.25 lakh MW and that should be tapped instead of going for nuclear power in the name of energy security.
On the issue of nuclear weapons, he said, "We are against stock piling of nuclear weapons but we do not want that somebody should restrict our capability."
"Having strategic relationship with US while incorporating such provisions in the Bill, how can we protect our national interest," Acharya questioned.
Echoing similar views, Bharatiya Janata Party leader B C Khanduri said the plea of energy security was nothing but a `bogey' and disagreed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that defence matters come after energy security.
In the present day circumstances, defence requirement comes before anything else, he said. "We feel we must have good relations with the US but not at the cost of our national security," he said, adding that all those people who have national interest should have critical view of this deal.
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader D P Yadav said he stood by the prime minister's statement in Parliament on the deal. Suresh Prabhu of the Shiv Sena said the government should ensure that India's strategic interests were not compromised because of the pact. Biju Janata Dal's Bhartruhari Mahatab said the government should explain the `sacrifices' required to be made as part of the deal.
Communist Party of India's C K Chandarappan said the prime minister should take the country forward on the non-aligned path.