Karat's allegation against PM not true: Cong

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New Delhi, June 27 (UNI) Rejecting CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat's charge that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had thrust a crisis on the nation due to US pressure on the nuclear issue, the Congress today said the deal had the backing of not only the PM, but of the party and its allies in the UPA as well.

The Congress ''does not agree'' with the views of Mr Karat and the government would take a decision on the deal in the best interest of the nation, not coming under pressure from anyone, AICC spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

At the same time, he made it clear that the Indo-US nuke deal would contribute to the country's energy security and thereby help check the inflation which was on the rise mainly due to the galloping crude prices that touched the 140-dollar mark in the international market today.

The spokesman's statement reinforces the general perception in political circles, particularly the Left, that the government would go ahead with finalising the India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA at a ''suitable time.'' AICC Media Cell Chairman M Veerappa Moily has gone on record stating that the government has to merely decide on the timing of the safeguards agreement.

A top party source today said this would be done ''within a week'' and in any way before Dr Singh's departure for Japan to attend the G8 summit early next month.

The weekly core committee meeting of the Congress which would take place this evening is expected to deliberate on the issue.

Asked about inflation, which rose to 11.42 per cent today, Mr Ahmed said Finance Minister P Chidambaram had already explained that prices would start coming down only in August and considerable relief was expected only in September.

But for the series of fiscal and monetary steps taken by the government and the RBI, inflation would have been much higher, in consonance with the levels of rise in other Asian nations, he reasoned.

While inflation was a cause for concern, the BJP was happy over people's sufferings, expecting to make political gains, he regretted.

The same way, the BJP wanted the government to fall on the nuclear issue and was hoping to return to power early, he said.


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