No connection between Nandigram and nuke deal : Congress

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New Delhi, Nov 14 (UNI) The Congress today dismissed the accusation that its soft stand towards the Marxist-led Left Front government in West Bengal on the Nandigram issue was a quid pro quo for the "U" turn of the Left parties on the Indo-US Nuclear deal.

"There is no connection between Nandigram and the nuke deal," AICC Spokesman and Union Minister Shakeel Ahmed told mediapersons here today, but refused to reply to a barrage of questions on the issue.

He said the violence in Nandigram and the carnage in Gujarat were equally regrettable, but pointed out that it did not favour the demand for resignation of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.

"Raising the demand for resignation on every issue is not a solution," he said, in reply to a question on whether the party would demand the resignation of Mr Bhattacharya on the issue of Nandigram.

"It is difficult to link Gujarat and Nandigram. But we feel both are regrettable in the same degree." Asked why the Congress did not send a high-level party delegation to Nandigram, Mr Ahmed said the party had been getting inputs from its workers from there. "AICC will take decisions at appropriate time." On a question if the Congress would demand a debate on Nandigram in Parliament, he said all issues of national importance would come up before both the houses. However, it was for the Business Advisory Committee to decide which issues should be discussed and when they should be discussed.

On the allegation of the CPI(M) that the CRPF personnel were despatched to trouble-torn Nandigram belatedly at the intervention of Union Minister from West Bengal Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, Mr Ahmed said "We don't subscribe to this views." In this context, he explained that the law and order was a state subject. However, the Centre would extend whatever support that was sought by the state.

UNI

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