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Nuclear deal still on course: K Subrahmanyam
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | October 13, 2007 14:25 IST
Last Updated: October 13, 2007 15:46 IST
The hardcore acolytes of India's nuclear deal with the United States in New Delhi's strategic community insist that the last word on the deal has not been said, yet.
K Subrahmanyam, one of the most vocal supporters of the deal, is confident that on October 22, when the Joint Committee meeting between the Left parties and the United Progressive Alliance takes place, the Congress is going to tell the Left leaders that it will go ahead with the negotiations at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
The Left parties have consistently warned the UPA government and the Congress leadership that the commencement of negotiations with the IAEA would be regarded as crossing the Lakshman rekha.
Subrahmanyam maintained: "I am still hoping that the deal will go through. They [UPA government] will have to tell the Left parties on 22 October that they are proceeding to Vienna."
"How can the Congressmen allow themselves to be blackmailed by the Communists?" he asked. He pointed out that the CPM is espousing a fundamentalist ideology, which stands discredited in the rest of the world.
"If the Congress does n't go ahead with the deal, this government will be ruled by a minority which has got 5% of the Indian popular vote. Does Congress want to be under the leverage of Communists till 2009?" Subrahmanyam added.
Subrahmanyam quoted from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] speech at a media convention in New Delhi on Friday: "The country's dreams can't be straitjacketed by an ideology."
While discussing the fate of the deal with rediff.com, he went on to explain that Dr Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi [Images] have said that they would "prefer" the UPA government to complete the term of their government till 2009 and they do not want mid-term elections.
But, he stressed, that is a half-truth. "If you carefully read the fine prints of yesterday's remarks by both leaders, they don't mean that they have taken a final decision to dump the deal".
He added: "I don't take politicians' remarks at face value."
He said the 'no-mid-term-election stance' by Dr Singh and Sonia has to be understood carefully. Till such time as the troops enter the enemy's territory, the leaders of the country always talk of peace, he said.
Subrahmanyam had headed the Task Force regarding the impact of the new world order on India's strategic policy, which was appointed by Dr Singh.
He said: "I am a person who wants to liberate India from technological apartheid and ensure India's growth. I believe that if the government doesn't go for the deal, then, the Left parties will be running the government till 2009. There will be no government as such. The UPA will be reduced to an instrument of the communists."
Subrahmanyam sounded anguished over the latest political development. He warned, "If the Congress agrees to freeze the deal, then, no country in the world will deal with India in future. Every time you go for negotiations, other countries will ask 'Have the Left parties given you permission to have the deal?'"
He concluded: "It would mean that people in the South Block are incapable of taking sovereign decisions."