Nuclear deal: PM to go to Parliament, Left calls it hoodwinking

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New Delhi, Jun 30 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the government had told the Left parties that it would come back to Parliament with the outcome of the negotiations on the Indo-US nuclear deal with the IAEA and the NSG and abide by the sense of the House on the operationalisation of the agreement.

However, the Left parties, once again rejecting the government's contention that negotiations with the IAEA and the NSG would not tie India's hands, accused Dr Singh of ''hoodwinking the nation''.

They questioned the rationale behind the Prime Minister's suggestion that the government would come back to Parliament, saying Parliament had already debated the issue twice and the majority of the House was against it.

Dr Singh's remarks came a day after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) made it clear yesterday, after a day-long meeting of its Polit Bureau, that it would withdraw support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre if it went ahead with the deal.

Dr Singh, however, said, "There is nothing new in the stand of the Left parties." "We can still work it out," he said.

"We are not asking for anything that a government should not have asked for. All I want at this stage is to be allowed to complete the negotiations with the IAEA and the NSG. That will not tie down the hands of the country. I will come back to Parliament," he said.

Asked if he expected positive steps on the deal before he went to Japan later this week for the G-8 summit, Dr Singh said, "I am making that effort." CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said,'' the Prime Minister is trying to hoodwink the nation because after signing the frozen draft with the IAEA, India will have no role. The process will go on auto pilot.'' The Prime Minister should not link the deal with his proposed visit to Japan later this week for the G-8 summit. ''Heavens will not fall if he waits for one more debate during the monsoon session of Parliament,'' they added.

Talking to UNI on phone from London, CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia said the Left parties had already told External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee that the government should not go ahead with the deal as the majority view was against it.

Forward Bloc general secretary Devbrat Biswas also reiterated his opposition to the pact.

UNI team AKJ ND1742

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