RJD, DMK support Indo-US nuclear deal

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New Delhi, June 19 : The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government received a shot in the arm today when the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief Karunanidhi voiced support for the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

The RJD chief said here that the Indo-US deal was in the interest of the nation and necessary for the country's development. And added that it would be unfortunate if the agreement falls through.

As senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury met Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Railway Minister said the Government needed to take the allies along as, "we need both (the deal and the Left)".

Prasad said," Government comes and goes. Nuclear power is a requirement and assets must be created for our next generation".

Seeking to allay apprehensions of the Left allies, Prasad said by signing the deal with the US, "we are not becoming a slave of America."

He also contended that the Left has a right to express their views.

DMK spokesperson T K S Elangovan said that the party would support the Congress on the issue.

On being asked whether the implementation of the deal would cause a split between the Left parties and the Congress he said that Karunanidhi had already stated that any such division between the UPA and the Left would only pave the way for "communal forces like the BJP".

On Wednesday, the meeting of the UPA-Left panel on the deal was called off by the Government in the hope of building greater consensus with the allies and wearing down resistance of the Left.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Government's key negotiator with the Left, had met CPM general secretary Prakash Karat twice in the last two days and tried to reason with him that the Government should be allowed to push forward the draft safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

ANI

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