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Home > News > PTI

Nuke deal a dangerous folly: CPI-M

December 04, 2007 17:54 IST

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The Communist Part of India-Marxist on Tuesday warned the government that it would be a 'dangerous folly' to proceed with the India-United States nuclear deal, but steered clear of Bharatiya Janata Party suggestions of voting the government down if it failed to listen.

"We cannot allow you (BJP) to come to power riding on our shoulder," retorted senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury when BJP member Murli Manohar Joshi baited him to join his party to pull down the government if it went ahead with the deal.

Finding the agreement faulty in its pretext, text and context, the CPI-M member, initiating the short duration discussion on the nuclear deal in Rajya Sabha, said the agreement was anchored on the Hyde Act, which would give any new US president a prerogative to override the deal any time.

Persisting with its opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal, Yechury said it wanted the United Progressive Alliance government to stay in power by not proceeding with the agreement.

He said the Left parties had allowed the government to hold negotiations with the IAEA on the safeguards treaty to clear the air about apprehensions over uninterrupted nuclear fuel supply.

Coverage: Indo-US nuclear deal

Yechury also saw in the deal moves by the US not to allow India to reach a stage where its scientists could use thorium as a nuclear fuel in fast breeder reactors. He accused the US of trying to put pressure on India not to go ahead with lucrative energy deals with Iran and Pakistan.

He said Washington had threatened an Indian multinational company from securing deals worth billions of dollars in Iran, saying its investments in the US would be at risk.

Yechury asked if the State Bank of India [Get Quote] had denied credit to the firm which wanted to import gas from Iran. He said that through the agreement, the US wanted India to become a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty via the back door by opening its nuclear facilities to international inspections.

Disputing Prime Minister's Manmohan Singh [Images] assertions in the house and outside that nuclear fuel supply would remain uninterrupted under the agreement, Yechury said the Hyde Act gave the US powers to take back nuclear reactors and fuel supply in case India went ahead with fresh nuclear tests.

He said his party's support to the government was based on the common minimum programme which made no mention of the Indo-US nuclear deal or entering into a strategic alliance with the US, a process started by the erstwhile NDA regime.

"We won't allow the government to complete the agenda started by the NDA regime," the CPI-M leader said. "Don't enlarge the agenda," he told the government.

Rubbishing allegations that his party had 'extra territorial loyalty', Yechury said, "Even if China were to come out in support of the deal, we will still oppose it".

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