India will lose nuclear sovereignty on signing deal: Sarkar

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Agartala, Jul 7: CPI(M) Politburo member and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today redefined the Leftists' stand on Indo-US civil nuclear deal before the party workers and warned that India would lose its nuclear sovereignty with the deal.

Addressing a party rally at Manughat in North Tripura, Mr Sarkar said the Left parties were not opposing the deal but they demanded substantial modification of the conditions to safeguard India's defence and nuclear strategies at large.

''We are in a transitional phase now and our economy has faced a serious challenge because of wrong policies and it is not the right time to go for any strategic deal with a country like the US,'' he said, adding that if the country witnessed snap polls, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi would be solely responsible for it.

Mr Sarkar claimed that any deal was not required for power production from Uranium with the US, rather India could produce power from Thorium deposits of the country, besides hydro and thermal sources, which would keep the nuclear strategy sovereign and safeguard the country's defence sector.

He blamed the Manmohan Singh government's policy for soaring inflation and price hike of essential commodities, including petroleum products, and claimed that Left parties would not compromise with the country's security and sovereignty.

''If the government decides to go to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to finalise the India-specific agreement and to proceed with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Left parties would be compelled to withdraw support and the Cabinet would not continue,'' Mr Sarkar pointed out, adding that the Congress had already lost 12 states in the recent Assembly elections because of its ''anti-people policies''.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the Tripura Assembly and AICC member Ratan Lal Nath said here today, ''The government will reiterate its position that it would first finalise the findings of the 15-member UPA-Left nuclear committee and to go ahead with the IAEA for interest of the nation.''

UNI

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