N-deal continues to hang fire: Left No, RJD Yes

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New Delhi, Jun 19 (UNI) The Indo-US nuclear deal continued to hang fire as the Left parties voiced their implacable opposition to the pact while the Rashtriya Janata Dal of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today defended the agreement as ''an imperative necessity to meet the energy requirements of the country.'' Left parties hardened their resistance to the pact with the top leaders of the CPI, CPM and Forward Bloc saying that the possible way out by delinking of IAEA and NSG talks from the 123 agreement is ''just impossible'' as the whole exercise of negotiations with the international agency is to operationalise the 123 agreement.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a key constituent of the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre, today said Party Supremo and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi would announce the party's stand on Indo-US Nuclear Deal in the backdrop of stiff opposition to it by the Left parties.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan pointed out that the government was now left with no other option than to give up the idea to go to Vienna to talk to the Board of Directors of the nuclear watchdog to carry forward the deal while his colleague in the party Gurudas Dasgupta said ''the sense of the house'' has already spoken against the deal.

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's insistance on executing the deal, the CPI leaders said the government is under heavy pressure from the US on the issue.

CPM senior leader Rup Chand Pal, reacting to media reports suggesting a middle-of-the-road solution, said ''the whole proposition is absurd because without the concurrence and the deal with the US, no dealing can take place with Russia or Australia.'' Besides, Mr Pal said the timeline for the deal does not permit for the execution of the deal. He said, firstly the US presidential election has to take place in November and the President has to take oath on January 23 and at least 99 days are required for the scrutiny of the bill in the US Senate.

For a lameduck president it is absolutely a meaningless exercise. According to the probable US Presidential candidates, they have a different thinking on the deal from Mr George Bush.

On Dr Manmohan Singh's adamant position on the deal, the CPM leader said ''he has taken it as a matter of personal prestige, this is why he is pursuing it so vigorously.'' More UNI Team RP RAI2000

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