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PMO downplays PM's comment on Vajpayee
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September 14, 2005 22:51 IST
Last Updated: September 14, 2005 23:00 IST

The Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday sought to downplay the controversy back home over the reference made by Manmohan Singh [Images] to his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee's criticism of the India � United States nuclear deal during his talks with President George W Bush [Images] in New York on Tuesday.

Defensive BJP criticises PM

During a discussion on their July 18 joint statement that contained the US administration's commitment to work towards lifting of restrictions on the sale of fuel and equipment to India's civilian nuclear programme, the two leaders had spoken of parliamentary reactions in the two countries to the deal.

Bush was hopeful that he would get the US congressional approval for the deal and Singh told him that the Indian Parliament had discussed it and he had its backing.

However, the Prime Minister mentioned Vajpayee's criticism which had come as a surprise to him. When his reaction was sought to the controversy over the criticism of these remarks by Bharatiya Janata Party and Communist Party of India, the prime minister's media adviser Sanjaya Baru said the reference to Vajpayee was in the context of the President referring to the debate in the US Congress and Singh responding by mentioning the reaction in India.

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