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Home > News > PTI

We shall overcome this turbulence, PM on N-deal

August 22, 2007 22:58 IST

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Breaking his silence on the stand-off with the Left Front, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Wednesday expressed confidence that the political turbulence over the India-United States civil nuclear deal will be overcome.

"It is a naughty question. Certainly, there is some turbulence in Delhi's political air but I am confident that
we shall overcome it," he said with a smile.

The prime minister has not commented in public about the impasse with the Left since he made a statement on the nuclear deal in Parliament nine days ago. His positive tone was in sharp contrast to mounting speculations that the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and other supporting parties will not relent on the issue.

"As someone said, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?" Dr Singh said, quoting poet Shelley during a media meet along with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [Images].

After the conclusion of the agreement between India and the US, several stages still needed to be undertaken if the deal had to be operationalised, Dr Singh said.

He explained that India would have to negotiate a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and then approach the Nuclear Suppliers Group. It will request the NSG to relax its restrictions about the transfer of nuclear technology and fuel.

"It is my sincere hope that when the matter comes up at the NSG, we will have the support of Japan [Images]," Dr Singh said, in a clear indication that his government was determined to go ahead with the deal.

The prime minister's remarks came even as the top brass of the CPI-M met in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss their strategy on the nuclear deal if the government decided to go ahead with its operationalisation.

CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said, "All we are asking the government is to press the pause button. It should properly evaluate all the implications before proceeding further."

The two-day meeting is expected to finalise the party's position on how far it would go in opposing the deal.

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