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Oppn terms N-deal a defeat, Cong elated

October 09, 2008 13:45 IST

Responding on predictable lines to President George W Bush's assent to the bill on Indo-US nuclear deal, Bharatiya Janata Party and Left parties on Thursday said that history will prove that the accord was a 'defeat' for India with Washington remaining 'silent' on nuclear testing.

But the Congress hailed the signing of legislation into law by Bush, asserting that the Indian nuclear programme would be intact and future generations will not face power shortage.

"Bush is silent in his speech about the contentious issue of nuclear testing and the government has clearly failed in ensuring the sovereignty and nuclear independence for the country," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said after the US leader signed the bill into law.

"The last minute face-saving comments" by the US President, Rudy said, are nearly "personal assurances and have no legal standing or any statutory back up."

"Only history would prove that it is a defeat for the country earned by the UPA at the cost of the common man," Rudy said.

The Left parties warned the deal would entail 'huge costs' for India and was a result of 'mutual desperation' on both sides.

The statement by Bush after signing the deal was 'nothing but a device' to allay genuine fears over the deal, CPI-M General secretary Prakash Karat [Images] told PTI.

Maintaining that there was a 'wide gap' between the Indian and the US governments' understanding of the deal, CPI leader D Raja said while Washington considered 123 agreement to be governed by the Hyde Act, the Atomic Energy Act and other American laws, New Delhi [Images] was of the view that only 123 agreement was binding.

Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said the 123 agreement has not been changed which was a 'victory' for India.

"Indian nuclear programme continues to be intact. It is a victory for India. It opens nuclear trade with the rest of the world. The future generations will not have to face any electricity shortage," he said.

"Today, we celebrate the festival of Vijayadashami, today good won over evil. It's a big day for India as the American President has finally signed the Indo-US nuclear deal."

Warning that the nuclear accord will have 'serious' consequences for India, Raja said its signing can be seen as a result of 'mutual desperation'.

"While Manmohan Singh [Images] (PM) wants to show some achievement at the fag end of his tenure, the Americans are desperate to help the military-industrial establishment at a time when US is passing through a mega financial crisis," the CPI leader said.

Maintaining that American nuclear companies were waiting for the massive Indian market to open up for their revival, he said "they see the Congress-led UPA government helping them in this. Nobody knows what the economic cost of this deal will be for India. It will simply be huge. It will have very serious consequences for India and its future."    

He also said that it is finally the prerogative of the US to ensure uninterrupted fuel supplies for India.

"We will have to see how far the Indian government has yielded to the US," he added.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] will formally sign the overall bilateral nuclear cooperation accord early Saturday morning.

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