Left charges UPA with uranium shortage alibi to push nuke deal

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New Delhi, May 23 (UNI) Contesting the government claim on uranium shortage as an alibi to push the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Left parties today threw the government's own figures at it by saying there was enough uranium fuel in the country to take forward nuclear energy programme.

Quoting a statement of Nuclear Power Corporation of India, the four Left parties said the country has proven reserves of uranium to support 10,000 MWe installed capacity.

Briefing the media after their joint meeting which lasted two hours, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat disclosed they were told about uranium shortage,resulting in 50 per cent plant load factor at the last meeting of UPA-Left panel on the nuclear deal.

He said since the government has failed to muster majority on the nuke deal with the United States it has brought in this alibi of uranium shortage to overawe opponents of the deal. "The same argument(of uranium shortage) is now being advanced by Uranium Corporation of India to help the government go forward on the nuke deal,"he added.

Mr Karat, who had orchestrated the Left opposition to the nuke deal, wondered as to how uranium shortage has suddenly come about only after the signing of the nuclear deal with the U S." Has the shortage occured due to bungling by the UCI,"he asked.

Reiterating the Left opposition to the deal, the Marxist leader, however, said they would firm up their stand after the next meeting of the UPA-Left on the issue on May 28.

UNI KSA-SAA RP PM1927

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