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Left suffering from Americaphobia: Pranab

October 27, 2008 20:24 IST

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Indo-US Nuclear Tango

Ridiculing the Left for opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said the parties were suffering from 'Americaphobia just like some people have hydrophobia.'

"They have Americaphobia, just like some people have hydrophobia. They may have it, but they must understand that the the US is technologically advanced and we need that advanced technology," Mukherjee told a seminar in Kolkata on the N-deal.

Pointing out that he had held eight meetings with the Left parties since July 18, 2005, to explain to them the details of the deal, Mukherjee said, "I have never seen so many meetings being held on foreign policy matters in my 39 years in Parliament. There had been only three meetings on GATT."

Refuting the Left parties' allegation that the government had ignored Parliament in clinching the deal, he said every step was discussed both in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

"They said the prime minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House by entering into the deal. Lok Sabha speaker (Somnath Chatterjee [Images]) ruled this out. So, they became angry with him. But they did not remember that the speaker had been in Parliament longer than many of them," he said.

Mukherjee said that after Left parties threatened to withdraw support to the government if it went to the International Atomic Energy Agency to help implement the nuclear deal, he wrote a letter to them, asking them to wait till the matter was discussed at the Left-United Progressive Alliance committee on the nuke deal.

"But they did not wait and withdrew support. So, we went for a vote in the House in keeping with parliamentary decorum. We went for the deal only after we won," he said.

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