NCP hopes Left will be flexible on nuke deal

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Mumbai, Oct 26 (UNI) The NCP today expressed confidence that the ruling UPA at the centre would be able to convince the Left to be flexible in their stand on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Addressing a press conference here, party general secretary D P Tripathi said the fact that a dialogue is on is itself a positive sign. ''The Left is not demanding that the deal be abandoned. They are just asking for their concerns to be addressed and re-considering of certain provisions of the Hyde act. Once the India specific safeguards are finalised at the IAEA, the deal will be operationalised,''he said.

Replying to question, Mr Tripathi rejected the charge that the NCP was speaking for the Left when it had supported the deal in the cabinet. ''It is wrong to state that the NCP is supporting the Left.

We are for the deal, but it is not right to sacrifice the government on one issue,''he added.

Mr Tripathi said his party was a small constituent of the UPA with 11 Lok Sabha MPs and would increase its tally considerably during the next elections. ''In fact, it is the BJP that is scared of a mid-term polls,''the NCP leader said responding to a query about BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu's comments that the party was wary of the mid term poll.

To a question on the delay of eight years by the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra to set up special courts to try the pending cases of the 1992-93 Mumbai riots mentioned in the Srikrishna Commission report, Mr Tripathi attributed it to legal and technical hurdles. ''The NCP is for implementation of the report and bringing the guilty to book. In fact, we have asked for an amendment in the existing laws to ensure speedy implementation of the commission's report,''he reiterated.

UNI

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