Left questions UPA keeping of IAEA Agreement as secret

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New Delhi, Jul 8 (UNI) While announcing the decision to withdraw their support to the UPA Government, the Left parties today came out with a detailed account as to why the Congress-led coalition government was keeping the draft of IAEA Agreement secret.

''Once the text of the safeguards Agreement is approved by the IAEA Board of Governors, which is what the UPA Government is seeking now, the subsequent steps require no participation at all by the Government of India,'' they said in a joint statement.

Releasing the fact-sheet at a press conference, where the decision on the withdrawal of support was annonced, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said, ''We know, why the Government is hiding the text of its talks with the IAEA from the nation.'' To explain this, ''we are releasing this fact-sheet, which detailed the tricks played by the government,'' Mr Karat added.

The fact-sheet pointed out that it was the US government that would take the next step i.e. moving the NSG countries for the waiver and then placing of the 123 Agreement before the US Congress.

''Therefore, it is critical for the country that the agreement is discussed with the full transparency and not kept secret,'' it noted.

It also referred to the Left's Parties five key concerns on the Agreement, which had not been addressed by the Government.

These included --the ability to withdraw the reactors (both imported and indigenous) from the IAEA safeguards; the corrective steps needed for India to take if fuel supplies are interrupted by the US and the NSG countries; what will be the conditions, India need to fulfil when corrective steps will be put into operation; the prospect of using nuclear fuel from non-safeguarded part of India's nuke programmes in case of supply snapping.

The statement is signed by all four general secretaries of the left parties-- Prakash Karat (CPM), A B Bardhan (CPI), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc) and T J Chandrachoodan (RSP).

UNI KSA GT RP CS1622

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