NDA firm to oppose N-Deal, to seek debate

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New Delhi, Nov 15: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) today firmed up its opposition to the Indo-US Nuclear Deal in Parliament following the Government's 'no clear cut' assurance over the Opposition's apprehensions about the possibility of the country conducting Pokhran III.

An NDA meeting chaired by Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani at his residence, decided to give notices under rules 184 and 168 for discussions on the issue in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively, both entailing voting.

Mr Advani who briefed the NDA leaders about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee and himself at Mr Vajpayee's residence, said they had asked the Prime Minister if India would be able to conduct a third nuclear test, Pokhran III, even after signing the deal. "There was no reply from the Prime Minister to their question," he said, adding, he had conveyed to Mr Singh that in such an event, the BJP and NDA would be opposing the deal and they were firm on it. This was conveyed in the presence of Mr Vajpayee, he said.

Talking to newspersons after the half hour meet attended by all NDA constituents, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said the NDA wanted a minimum two day discussion in both the Houses over the deal in the presence of the Prime Minister.

She said the NDA was very disappointed over the way the dates of the Winter Session of Parliament were fixed, ignoring important events like the Chhath Puja.

Besides, Dr Singh would also be on a foreign tour for a week during the session, she said.

Those present included BJP president Rajnath Singh, B K Tripathi (BJD), Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (SAD), Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress), Sharad Yadav JD(U) and Chandan Mitra (nominated).


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