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UNPA likely to consult Kalam on N-deal

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | July 03, 2008 17:06 IST
Last Updated: July 03, 2008 22:03 IST

The key United National Progressive Alliance meet has decided to consult experts on the controversial Indo-US nuclear deal.

The leaders hinted that they are likely to consult former President APJ Abdul Kalam [Images] on the issue.

When a journalist said that Kalam has already backed the N-deal, SP leader Amar Singh shot back, "He may have told you so, not us."

After a nearly four-hour long meeting, leaders of the UNPA told a press conference that they favoured a national debate on the nuclear deal as there were many aspects that needed clarifications.

However, the Samajwadi Party, whose 39 MPs may be crucial to the UPA Government in the Lok Sabha if the Left parties withdraw support, again gave indications of tilting towards Congress when it said "communalism is a bigger danger than the nuclear deal".

"I said it yesterday. And I repeat it today," Amar Singh, who was briefed by National Security Advisor M K Narayanan on the deal , said in the presence of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu [Images], INLD Chief O P Chautala, AGP chief Brindavan Goswami and Jharkhand Vikas Party leader Babulal Marandi.

Chautala said the UNPA it will not give "any certificate" for the deal before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] goes to G-8 summit in Japan [Images] on July 7.

United Nationalist Progressive Alliance chairman Mulayam Singh Yadav said that Farooq Abdullah of National conference who was scheduled to join the deliberations could not reach due to strike in the valley. " But he has told us that he is with us and will go by whatever decision taken during the meeting."

 Amar Singh denied that he had ever told National Security Advisor M K Narayanan that they would like some of the ministers go from the union cabinet. " Who is he? He is not even a member of parliament. I have given the explanations given by the government to my leaders and now it is upto them to decide what to do on the issue."

Both Mulayam Singh and Chautala claimed that the time has come for the third alternative to form the government and all other parties should support it from the outside.

" The people are tired of alternatives provided by the two national parties and hence we have provided them with third alternative," they claimed.

Amar Singh, who had asked prime minister to clarify doubts by issuing a statement,seemed satisfied with the statement issued by the prime minister's office on Wednesday night.

 Mulayam Singh Yadav said while making parting comments said that they would like the government to clarify its position.

" We do not want to be like Left parties who say that the government has not told them about the contents of the papers that they are getting cleared from the International Atomic Energy Agency and its board of directors,"  the UNPA  chairman said.

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