Left, Right slam Centre for signing away nuclear sovereignty

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New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) A day after the text of the Indo-US nuclear deal was presented to the US Congress, the BJP and the CPI(M) today took on the UPA government for signing away India's nuclear sovereignty by negotiating a pact which forfeited New Delhi's right to conduct nuclear tests and was devoid of guarantees of assured fuel supply.

The country's Left and Right spoke in one voice as the two parties asserted that their worst fears had been realised as the agreement did not make assured fuel supply legally binding on NSG nations to India while the IAEA safeguards were in perpetuity.

The Presidential Determination sent to the US Congress contradicts the UPA government's claims that it had got guarantees for permanent fuel supplies and on perpetual safeguards, the CPI(M) said.

The party said the covering note of the Determination stated that there were no legally binding assurances on the US for fuel supply.

''It also makes clear that the IAEA safeguards are in perpetuity and not as Indian officials have claimed. Thus, while the US does not assure nuclear fuel supply, India has accepted its safeguards in perpetuity,'' the Left party said in a statement here.

The BJP, which is holding its national executive in Bangalore, also flayed the ''minority'' Congress-led government for surrendering India's right to conduct nuclear tests and binding the country to an ''unequal'' international agreement.

Party president Rajnath Singh alleged that the government had totally twisted the truth and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh misled Parliament, political parties and the people of the country.

He emphasised on India's ''surrender'' of its right to conduct further nuclear tests at a time when China was reportedly seeking to alter the regional strategic balance by going in for further nuclear tests.

Quoting a newspaper report from China claiming that Beijing would go ahead with more nuclear tests in the future, Mr Singh wondered if India had converted a unilateral assurance of no-nuclear tests to a multilateral international agreement.

If India conducted any nuclear test, it would have to return the nuclear fuel and equipment it had been supplied, he said.

The CPI(M) further said the government had succumbed to US pressure on Iran as the Hyde Act, which had a specific condition regarding India's cooperation with the American policy on Iran, had prevailed.

The party statement said the Indian Government had repeatedly stated that the Hyde Act was not binding but the NSG waiver quoted Pranab Mukerjee's statement that India would join international efforts to stop the spread of enrichment and reprocessing technologies, an obvious reference to Iran.

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