New Delhi, Sep 25 (UNI) Top Parliamentarians of the Left, BSP, JDS and TDP today staged a protest demonstration and sit-in on the premises of Parliament warning that the Manmohan Singh government's ''betrayal'' on the Indo-US nuclear pact will not go unchallenged and demanded immediate convening of the house to debate the issue.
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, Left parliamentary leaders Sitaram Yechury, Gurudas Dasgupta, and Rajesh Verma said the convening of the House was necessitated also to discuss the burning national issues -- the government, failure to contain the growing terrorism, attacks on minorities, unprecedented price rise, floods and its ''anti-people'' economic policies.
The MPs gathered in front of the giant size statue of the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and walked up to gate no 8 of the House where they shouted slogans against the deal which the US Senate panel okayed with a rider yesterday. The panel passed a bill seeking to impose punitive measures in case India tests a nuclear weapon, provisions being described as those contained in he Hyde Act.
The protesters Mr Basudev Acharya, Mr Rupchand Pal, MS Brinda Karat, Mr Salim Mohammed, Mr S Sudhakar Reddy, Mr D Raja, MrAbani Roy among others, said the struggle to pressurise the government to abandon the deal will be intensified in and outside Parliament in the coming days.
Talking to mediapersons, Mr Deve Gowda said,'' The deal is a total sell out of country's interests. I am clear in my mind that when US President George W Bush tried to convince those countries opposing the deal in the NSG, it became abundantly clear that his country's business interest are paramount for him.'' Mr Yechury reguretted that the UPA government had bypassed Parliament and public opinion while entering the deal and even skipped the monsoon session to avoid the debate on the floor of the House. '' The session which was to commence on August 17 has been skipped. Now it haS been clubbed with the winter session from October 17 to November 22,'' he said, adding that it is an blatant assault on our Parliamentary system of governance.
Mr Pal said generally the winter session went up to December but the government had chosen not to discuss the ''people's growing discontent against the government policies, be it on the issue of internal security, sky-rocketing price rise and growing terrorism as it knows that it is in the minority in the Lok Sabha. This is why it avoids facing the Parliament''.
Mr Das Gupta said the government has lost its face. '' The numbers in both the Houses do not work in its favour. The Majority in the Lok Sabha can be manufactured for a day by dubious means but that can not be exhibited now on the floor of the House. Therefor Prime Minister Minister Manmohan Singh is relying more on Mr Bush,'' he said.
Later, a similar protest demonstration was also organised at the Jantar Mantar where CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and his counterpart in the Forward Bloc participated.
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