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Home > News > Report

PM, Yashwant Sinha trade charges during N-deal debate

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 04, 2007 17:05 IST
Last Updated: December 04, 2007 18:44 IST

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh [Images] and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha traded charges against each other during the debate on the India-United States nuclear agreement in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The BJP, which had been asking for Dr Singh's statement as he had made only a two line remark during the debate in the Lok Sabha, were shocked when the usually composed prime minister accused Sinha of spreading false information against him.

Since the beginning of the session, Sinha had been provoking Dr Singh. He questioned Dr Singh about his speech in July 2005."The prime minister said that we are free to scrap the deal. Yes sir, we are free to jump from the Qutub Minar but we have to realise the consequences and live through them," Sinha said.

 Dr Singh was irked by Sinha's claim that though India had been invited to join the Shanghai Conference, it did not do so under pressure from the United States. Dr Singh hit back by reminding Sinha about the treatment he received from the Japanese government when he was the Finance minister.

"Yes sir. I was the finance minister of the prime minister and Dr Singh was his economic advisor. I am sorry he got personal," Sinha said.

Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav also sprung up to defend Dr Singh and said that Sinha was a babu during Bihar chief minister Kapooi Thakur's tenure. "Yes, that is true. And Laluji used to come to me to seek favours," Sinha said amidst laughter.

Dismissing as false the charge that India came under American pressure in not signing agreements on the Koodankulam reactors, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said it could not be concluded because the government was yet to work out issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

"It has always been understood that the agreements for four additional reactors could be signed only after India got the approval from the IAEA for India-specific safeguards and work out with the NSG issues that are under discussion," he said in a brief intervention in the Rajya Sabha.