Sibal condemns Left for targeting PM on nuke deal

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 17 (UNI) Coming down heavily on the Left for opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal, Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal today condemned the red brigade for targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rather than debating on the issue.

''The Left's opposition to the deal has degenerated to a level not expected from ideology driven comrades. CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat believes that attacking the Prime Minister personally is part of his Common Minimum Programme,'' he told reporters here.

''I suggest that the Left Parties instead of their attacks, sit with the Committee and discuss the intricacies of the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement with honesty and with a sense of purpose and committment expected of it,'' he said.

Referring to Mr Karat's statement that Mr Singh should choose his friends carefully or else he would meet the same fate like Mr Bush's friend former British Prime Minster Tony Blair, Mr Sibal said the Prime Minister was in good company and there was nothing for him to fear.

He said it was the Left and not the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government, who were violating the coalition dharma.

Citing the CMP on India's Foreign policy, he read '' ....even if India has a closer engagement with the US, the UPA government will maintain independence of India's Foreign policy decisions on all regional and global issues.'' Mr Sibal said Mr Karat, deviating from the CMP agreed by him, had now opposed all engagement with the US.

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