We are not opposing nuke deal at the behest of China: Left

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New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) The Left parties today denied the allegation that it was opposing the Indo-US Nuclear deal at the behest of Communist China, and said they were against the agreement as it was put on a level which was detrimental to India's sovereignty and independent foreign policy.

Raising a debate on the nuclear deal in the Lok Sabha, senior Marxist member Rupchand Pal said the major concern of the Left was the impact of the Hyde Act, the US national law, on the 123 agreement. Another matter of worry was whether the agreement would guarantee uninterrupted fuel supply to Indian reactors.

Saying that the deal was in the interest of the United States, he said that it covered not only the civil nuclear cooperation but also several other areas like defence, agriculture, insurance, banking etc.

He regretted that the Left were dubbed unpatriotic for opposing the nuclear deal, and said ''we are always saying right things for the interest of the country.'' On the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the nuclear agreement would herald nuclear renaissance and India would miss the bus if it was not signed, Mr Pal said ''these were all hypes.'' In this context, he asked the government why the United States did not set up even a single nuclear reactor in its country in the last 30 years.

Mr Pal said the Left had allowed the government to approach the IAEA for negotiating India-specific safeguards agreement as ''we want a categoric assurance about uninterrupted fuel supply.'' He asked the government to take the sense of the House before going ahead with the deal.

''A majority of the members are against this deal. It will certainly have a bearing on our future self-reliance and our position in the world.'' MORE UNI SH YA BD1750

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