Don't sign nuclear pact: CPI(M)

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New Delhi, Oct 2 (UNI) Terming the Indo-US nuclear pact approved by the US Congress as an unequal treaty, the CPI(M) today asked the Manmohan Singh Government not to sign it when American Secretary of States Condoleeza Rice comes here to ink it on October 4.

''This is a bad deal, an unequal treaty and is against the vital interest of the country and a surrender to the US,'' CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said.

Addressing newspersons, Mr Karat said the latest law enacted by the US Congress in this connection is ''Hyde plus Act where the key provisions of the Hyde Act are contained with additional measures.'' He said if the Prime Minister and the UPA leadership went ahead with the signing of the deal, it will be a betryal of India's vital interests.

Reacting to a specific query on the political fallout of the nuclear deal and the weakening of its opposition momentum against it, the marxist leader avoided a direct reply. ''Now the battle will be in Parliament.'' Referring to the oft repeated assurances of the PM that he would come back to Parliament before finalising the deal, Mr Karat said now it became clear that after the NSG clearance and the US Congress approval, Parliament did not figure anywhere.

''It will be a major political issue before the people and Parliament when it meets on October 17 as it is a totally unviable proposition.'' Mr Karat spelt out five reasons why the deal was not in the national interest as the Act approved by the UN Congress to approve the 123 Agreement made it clear that ''no assurance regarding building a strategic fuel reserve for the lifetime of the reactor and whatever corrective measures it takes regarding fuel supply failure does not permit taking the reactor out of safeguards.'' The consent to reprocess is only a notion, and the US will also work to prevent other countries from providing nuclear supplies to India, if the US terminates the 123 Agreement.

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