Indo-US Nuclear deal- Timeline

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As the deadline nears, the tension is palpable
in political circles.... Congress trying to appeal to all smaller parties and BJP raising its campaign call.... it is a scene fit for melodrama...

At this juncture, we take a sneek peak into the past and trace the happenings from 2005...

July 2005: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush agree in principle to a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation deal. The deal reverses 30 years of US policy opposing nuclear cooperation with India because it developed nuclear weapons in contravention of global rules and never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

March 3, 2006: President Bush visits India and meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The two reach a tentative nuclear cooperation agreement and set certain terms. India and US agree on India's plan to separate its civilian and military nuclear reactors, a key requirement for the deal to go through.

March 15, 2006: Rep. Henry Hyde (IL) and Sen. Richard Lugar (IN), at the request of the administration, introduce legislation that would advance the US-India nuclear agreement and weaken the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

April/May 2006: The House International Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hold several hearings on the proposed nuclear deal with India.

June 27, 2006: The House International Relations Committee amends H.R. 5682, alternate legislation that would advance the US-India nuclear agreement. Several nonproliferation amendments that would restrict the amount of fissile material India can produce fail. The Committee approves the bill 37-5 and sends it to the full floor of the House for consideration.

June 29, 2006: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee amends alternate legislation than the administration proposed that would advance the US-India nuclear agreement. The Committee approves the bill 16-2 and sends it to the full Senate floor for consideration.

July 19, 2006: Sen. Lugar (IN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announces that the Senate won't consider S. 3709, legislation that would advance the US-India nuclear deal until after the August recess.

July 26, 2006: The full House of Representatives voted on H.R. 5682, legislation that will weaken the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and advance the US-India nuclear deal. It passed 359-68. Three amendments that would have improved the nonproliferation aspects of the bill failed.

December 8, and 9, 2006: Both houses of Congress pass final version of US-India nuclear deal. The Senate passes bill by voice vote and the House by a vote of 330 yeas to 59 nays. The bill was passed with the inclusion of some of the added nonproliferation measures.

Three other approvals -- from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a second time by the Congress -- are still needed before nuclear transfers to India can actually take place.

Bush signs H.R. 5682. approved by Congress, which makes changes to the US Atomic Energy Act. Analysts say the deal could be fully approved in roughly six months.

July 2007: The two countries announce finalization of the deal after months of tough negotiations on a bilateral pact. India had objected to what it said were new conditions in the agreement unacceptable to it.

August 2007: Text of the bilateral pact, called the 123 agreement, is unveiled simultaneously in both countries. Indian analysts say it meets most of New Delhi's demands, but Left parties threaten to withdraw support over the pact, saying it compromises India's sovereignty. PM defends the deal as crucial to India's prosperity.

October 2007: Fraught meetings between the left and the coalition government takes place after Sonia Gandhi, head of the Congress party, describes opponents of the deal as enemies of development. A snap election is averted after the government agrees to delay approaching the IAEA.

November 2007: The Left briefly softens its position and allows the government to begin talking to the IAEA about the safeguards agreement Later in the month, Left again accuse the government of misleading the country.

December 2007: Communists tell the government to stop talking to the IAEA.

February 2008: The US urges India to close the deal before Bush leaves office, saying the deal was unlikely to be offered again under the new administration. Pressure mounts up...

June 25, 2008: The coalition meets with its Leftist allies to try and resolve the impasse, but no agreement is reached.

July 1, 2008: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) says it is discussing the timing of its withdrawal of support, saying the government appeared to be pressing ahead with the deal.

July 4, 2008: The Left gives the government a July 7 deadline to decide whether it is going ahead with the deal.

July 7, 2008: Manmohan Singh declares to go to IAEA for a safeguards agreement soon.

July 8, 2008: On the wake of PM's statement on foriegn soil, Left withdraws support to UPA govt.

July 9, 2008: The Left Parties officialy submit withdrawal letter to the President and ask PM to seek confidence vote on the floor of the House.

India submits the restricted nuclear safeguards pact to IAEA Board for clarification and the final go. Click here for the IAEA safeguards text.

July 10: 2008: Govt unvels the IAEA safeguard draft at the Minister of External Affairs website.

July 11, 2008: Manmohan Singh-led Govt to face confidence motion on July 22

July 14, 2008: Mayawati-led party Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with Left to vote against UPA.

July 20, 2008: Maya woos JD-S chief Deve Gowda to vote agianst UPA. RLD leader to vote against N-dealunder Maya 'jaal'.

Dayanindhi Maran to vore for UPA.

July 21, 2008: As per now...

UPA (for Nuclear deal)- 263
NDA (against Nuclear deal)- 263
Undecided- 13

July 22, 2008: Deve Gowda, the master manipulator pulls the rug... to meet Sonia Gandhi

UPA (for Nuclear deal)- 269
NDA (against Nuclear deal)- 267
Undecided- 3
Abstain- 2

UPA Govt emerge victorious in the trust vote...

UPA (for Nuclear deal)- 275
NDA (against Nuclear deal)- 256
Abstain- 10

July 23, 2008: Eight BJP MPs were dispelled from Party for cross-voting and abstaining. Speaker Somnath Chaterjee was also expelled from CPM.

July 24, 2008: Manmohan Singh renders support to Somnath

July 31, 2008: IAEA to discuss Indian safeguards pact on Aug 1

Aug 1, 2008: Another hurdle through, IAEA passes India's safeguards pact

Aug 19, 2008: Foreign Secretary leaves for Vienna to attend Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting

Aug 20, 2008: Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon held a series of meetings here with diplomats from NSG member countries to press for the speedy adoption of the draft proposal without any changes.

Aug 21, 2008: NSG meets; adjourns for Menon's briefing.

Sep 4, 2008: Nuclear secret-letter written by Bush adminstration to US Congress is left exposed creates stir in Indian political circles. UPA defends, BJP seeks Manmohan's resignation while Left confirms UPA tag as betrayers.

Sep 6: The 45 member Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) meet that began at 2.30 pm(14:30 IST) on Saturday, Sep 6 gave a nod for Indian waiver. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says, 'It is a historic deal'.

Sep 10: President Bush invites Prime Minister Mannmohan Singh to Washington on Sep 25 for further talks on Indo-US Nuclear deal.

Sep 19: Taking a strong stand on the nuclear testing, US said that it will have to respond if India ever tests in the future.

Sep 21: India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for US; N-deal on agenda

Sep 24: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Indo-US nuclear deal for vote in US Senate.

Sep 27: US House of Representatives pass Indo-US Nuclear deal with thumping majority

Sep 29: India-France to sign Nuclear deal

Oct 2: US Senate approves landmark Indo-US Nuclear deal

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