PM, Yashwant Sinha fire salvos at each other

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New Delhi, Dec 4 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha were today involved in short exchanges over the latter's remarks during the debate over the Indo-US Nuclear deal in the Rajya Sabha.

Participating in the debate, Mr Sinha alleged that Prime Minister was avoiding the meetings of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, of which China, Russia and some CIS countries were members, due to ''the overwhelming presence of the US''.

The Prime Minister intervened that it was not for India's Prime Minister ''to go and sit on a cofee table away from the main meeting''.

Mr Sinha also raised the issue of agreement with Russia over supply of four nuclear reactors for Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu, saying Russia did not take the Prime Minister's recent Moscow visit ''seriously'' as was evident by the ''absence'' of their (Russia's) foreign minister.

At this the Prime Minister reminded Mr Sinha that he was denied a meeting by his Japanese counterpart when the latter was Finance Minister.

Mr Sinha retorted back that when he was a Minister in the cabinet, Dr Singh was a financial advisor to the government.

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad also joined and said Mr Sinha was a PA to then Bihar Chief Minister Karpuri Thakur to which the BJP leader said he was a Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister when Mr Prasad used to come with recommendations for even ''people with criminal backgrounds''.


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