PM's strong pitch for nuclear accord futile, says Left

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New Delhi, Jun 12 (UNI) Pouring cold water on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's optimism on sealing the Indo-US nuclear pact, the Left parties today said the premier was doing that out of political conviction of bridging distance with the US.

There was no question of compromise on the issue as their opposition to the 123 Agreement, which is anchored in the Hyde Act, continued, the top leaders of the CPI(M) and CPI said.

Left leaders' assertion comes a day after Dr Singh expressed optimism that the government ''would make progress in the months ahead as it is very important for the country to move forward'' to end this nuclear apartheid that the world has sought to impose on India.

While CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechuri said at a press conference that no consensus on the issue was possible with the Left, CPI senior leader Gurudas Dasgupta told UNI that the PM's optimism stemmed out of his political conviction of coming closer to the US.

To a specific query relating to Dr Singh's remarks pertaining to the nuclear accord, ahead of the June 18 meeting of the UPA-Left Panel on N-deal here, Mr Yechuri said Dr Singh had reiterated his known position. ''We, too, continue to have our objections and reservations on the issue.'' Asked to react to Ashley Tellis' observation that the nuclear deal was certainly dead, Mr Yechuri described the US official's view as his '' personal opinion'', and stressed that the Left could not accept the Hyde Act as it affected India's sovereignty.

In a much stronger comment, Mr Dasgupta said, ''It is his (PM's) psychological opinion which is not based on reality. If he wants his government to end, he could continue to think so. But our opposition to the deal is also well-known.'' As far as benefits in the energy field by clinching the deal were concerned, those would be ''marginal'', the CPI leader said, adding Dr Singh was making a strong pitch for the deal in a futile manner.

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