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Left asks UPA to come clean on nuclear deal, Bofors

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) The CPI(M) today asked the UPA government to come clean on the ''clandestine negotiations'' on the Indo-US nuclear pact and defreezing of the London bank accounts of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi and share the information with the people of the country and Parliament.

The Left party also asked the government to take into account the recommendations of the Agriculture Commission headed by M S Swaminathan to check the unabated suicides by farmers in various parts of the country and control the spiralling prices of essential commodities.

At a press conference CPI(M) floor leaders Nilotpal Basu and Basudeb Acharia demanded that the government place on the floor of the House all documents and details of the ongoing negotiations.

''A lot developments have taken place since the issue was debated in Parliament,'' Mr Basu, the parliamentary group leader in the Rajya Sabha said, adding that a structured debate was the right way to clear misgivings as it was a ''national embarrassment'' that the Americian Congressmen and senators knew more about the deal.

''Some say that the deal will come unstruck and some say it will go through, but there is no substantial information given by the government on it,'' the Left leaders said, adding that India's independence and capability of generating nuclear power was at stake.

''We are not against the nuclear deal per se, but we emphasise on upholding the independence of our nuclear programmes and we are against its undermining under any circumstances. We do need nuclear fuel, but under what conditions this is more important.'' The parliamentary norms and propriety demand that the Manmohan Singh government share with Parliament the broad contours of the deal ''which is always based on national consensus'', Mr Basu said.

He said very little authentic information was coming out on the deal from the government side. ''No doubt there is some classified information in the deal, but there has to be certain flexibility.'' Mr Basu, however, admitted that since this was a delicate matter, every detail could not be shared, but the gist of the deal ought to have been discussed in Parliament. ''We will raise the issue tomorrow in the House.'' On Bofors, the issue which rocked the Lok Sabha leading to its adjournment twice today, Mr Acharia said the people wanted to know why and how the CBI allowed the defreezing of the accounts of Quattrocchi when he was not acquitted and the case was still on.

''The government should make its position clear and fix accountability on the erring people.'' MORE UNI KSA LR BD1540

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