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Arun Shourie to bring privilege motion against PM
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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August 16, 2007 14:23 IST

Arun Shourie, former minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and member of Parliament, will bring a privilege motion against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] for misleading the country on the nuclear deal by asserting that there was no ban on testing of a nuclear device.

"The prime minister has misled the House," Shourie said after the House was adjourned till Friday morning.

Though it was the Bharatiya Janata Party which had been drumming up support against the signing of the nuclear deal between the government of India and United States as it felt that the 123 Agreement was against national interests, it was Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party who stole the show over his rivals by raising the issue of the statement given by the spokesperson of the US state department on Wednesday.

The US official had made the statement hours after Dr Singh had unfurled the national flag at the historic Red Fort [Images] on the occasion of 61st Independence Day.

US official had said that the deal would be off if India tested a nuclear device. The 123 Agreement is completely silent on this.

"Our worst apprehensions have come true," Amar Singh told newsmen outside Parliament.

He wanted to know if there is any need to operationalise such a deal in case it is not in our national interests.

"It is not a question of taking credit for my role, but for the entire United National Progressive Alliance," he said with a broad smile.

Yashwant Sinha, former minister of external affairs, said the BJP would not allow the sellout of national interests to the United States. "The country belongs to us as much as it does to them," he said.

To ward off the crisis, Minister of External Afairs Pranab Mukherjee was huddled with Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechuri.

The minister is expected to clarify the Indian stand in the Lok Sabha on Thursday afternoon when the House meets after lunch.

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