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New Delhi/Washington, Sept 21: To counter the Left and opposition BJP"s vitriolic criticism of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, the Congress party has released a 21-page booklet to remove the apprehensions about the deal, even as the US said that it would not comment on the political debate taking place in New Delhi.

The booklet refutes charges levelled by the Left and the BJP that the nuclear deal has compromised India"s sovereign and strategic interests. "This agreement is not at the cost of the autonomy of our strategic nuclear programme, our three-stage programme and our research and development activities," the booklet states, adding, “Any charge of India's strategic and sovereign interests having been compromised is preposterous and, therefore, deserves to be rejected."

The booklet issued by the Congress also states that India is bound by the 123-agreement and not by the Hyde Act of the US, as argued by the Left. It states that the 123-agreement in no way affects India"s right to conduct future nuclear test, and the deal was hammered in a very transparent manner.

"India has done this as an equal partner… the UPA Government has pursued the negotiations with an unprecedented nature of transparency that was underscored by three full debates in both house of Parliament," the booklet says.

Similar views were expressed by US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher in Washington. While speaking to students of Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Boucher said, “The debate in Indian Parliament and between the Indian political parties is one that probably best proceeds without the involvement of."

He also asserted that the deal was finalised in a transparent manner and that the agreement is beneficial for both countries. "We have been very public and transparent about how this was done and the understandings that have been reached," he said adding, “They are going to have this work this in the politics of India...We will see how this plays out."


ANI>

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