N-deal will put India in American bondage: V P Singh

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New Delhi, Sep 13 (UNI) Lashing out at the UPA Government for ignoring the majority view in Parliament on the Indo-US nuclear deal, former Prime Minister V P Singh today said the 123 agreement would put India in American bondage forever.

''Just saying it is a good, honourable deal means nothing, Is it more honourable that the more honourable members of Parliament,'' he asked, while giving a keynote address on 'PM's stand: A watershed in democracy' at a conference on Indo-US nuclear deal here.

He said the US President can terminate the deal without India testing an atomic bomb.

''The agreement mentions that each party has the right to terminate the agreement after giving one year notice.... Not even a test is necessary. So if our foreign policy does not suit the US, it can terminate the agreement.'' The agreement, he said, gave the US a general power to terminate it when they feel like.

''Saying that we have parity means nothing,'' he said and gave an example of a five-year-old child and a 16-year-old teenager who have the same rights in a punching bout.

He also criticised the clause that allowed the US to ask for the return of nuclear reactors and fuel if New Delhi conducted a test, saying it would mean an estimated loss of Rs one lakh crore to India.

''This will act as a paperweight on any government's mind,'' he remarked.

He said the agreement was governed by the US national law, which meant that the Hyde Act was applicable.

''The Hyde Act is hidden in it,'' he said. ''OK, it is not binding on us, but it is binding on the US President. He has to act if we violate the Hyde Act.'' Taking a dig at the clause that allowed suspension of the agreement in exceptional circumstances, he said: ''Whenever the US raises its brow, it becomes exceptional circumstances.'' ''So where is the freedom to act in strategic area and foreign policy area,'' he asked. ''What more bonding can there be that the PM listens to the US President and not to the majority in Parliament.'' Questioning the energy aspect of the deal, he said the electricity generated by the imported reactors would not be more than 5-6 per cent of the total.

''We have fast breeder reactors and are on the throes of developing thorium technology. Then why this bondage,'' he asked, and called for a joint programme to counter the Government's move.

UNI

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