Left hails PM-Bush pow-wow on hurdles in Indo-US nuclear deal

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) Left parties, key supporters of the United Progressive Alliance government, today hailed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's communication to President George Bush about the difficulties in operationalising the Indo-US Nuclear deal and hoped the Centre would convey it officially at the UPA-Left Panel's October 22 meeting.

Describing the Prime Minister's conversation with Mr Bush as a ''positive development'', the leaders of the CPI, CPI(M) and RSP told UNI the government should tell the nation too about it and come clean on the deal that led to a stand-off with the Left.

The government has yet to convey officially to the Left parties its decision to put the deal on hold.

With the UPA government virtually putting the deal on hold, Dr Singh talked to Mr Bush last night from Abuja and told him that there were difficulties in operationalising the deal.

Meanwhile, UPA-Left Panel's convenor, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is also reported to have told US Ambassador to India David Mulford here yesterday that the government is facing difficulties at this point of time in operationalising the agreement in view of strident opposition from the Left allies.

While CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi sought that the government officially place before the people what it has conveyed to Mr Bush and Mr Mulford, RSP leader and Rajya Sabha member Abani Roy made a case for conveying the information in ''black and white.'' CPI(M) senior leader and party Deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Mohammmad Salim said the Left parties would wait for the government's official confirmation till October 22. ''From the very beginning, the Left have been positive on the outcome of the Political Panel's exercise.'' The CPI leaders said the Left opposed the deal as it is part of the ''US design to impose a unipolar world and use India as a strategic partner to carry forward its agenda.'' On the relevance of the Political Panel in the wake of the government's U-turn on the deal, Mr Bardhan, the veteran Communist and freedom fighter, said ''it had to continue as larger issues of India's independent foreign policy had yet not been thrashed out.'' Mr Faizi, party Weekly 'New Age' Editor, elaborated that the 13-page note submitted before the Panel on October 9 was just referred to and detailed discussion on it was yet to be resumed in the October 22 meeting.

Referring to Dr Singh and Mr Mukherjee's communication to the US President and the Ambassador, Mr Faizi said it was essential now that the government take the nation into confidence and come out clean on putting on hold the deal.

The CPI leaders said it is a positive development that Congress, the UPA leadership and the government had now taken a public stance which did not reflect its previous adamancy.

Mr Salim, on the other hand, maintained that the government could communicate to the Left parties on or before October 22 that the deal had been put on hold.

Chiding the pushers of the deal, the CPI(M) leader said this is surely a disappointment for them as they advocated ''now or never'' approach on the N- Pact.

''There was growing opinion among the people including the scientific community who have worked hard for our successful nuclear programme that regarding foreign agreements like this, we must go into details and discuss the pros and cons and make cost benefit analysis,'' said Mr Salim adding that he hoped that the government was also doing the same.

UNI

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