We were open with Left on Nuke deal: Kapil Sibal

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{image-left+upa_11072008.jpg news.oneindia.in}New Delhi/Devarapalli(AP)/Agartala, Jul 11: Congress has refuted allegations that it had kept its Left allies in the dark about the contents of the India-US civil nuclear deal.

"It was indicated by the Left during the course of the meeting that unless we see the language it may be difficult for us to understand the exact nature. We said that we would be more than happy for you to ask any queries. We will tell you the substance of what is there in the agreement without disclosing the exact language and you can seek any clarification you want. That is the assumption with which this went on," said Kapil Sibal, Congress spokesperson and Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that if the Indo-US civil nuclear deal is good for the country then it is good for everyone.

"How is this (nuke deal) related to religion? The deal is good keeping in view the technology and the national interest. Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, all form part of the country," said Pawar.

An opposition leader, part of a loosely knit alliance of regional parties and fringe groups called the Third Front or the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), charged Singh's UPA of "poaching" on smaller groups after the Samajwadi Party (SP) broke ranks with them.

"UPA government is trying to buy lawmakers of small political parties by luring them with money. The government is bowing to the American lobby. UNPA is trying to bring the members who are opposing UPA's decision on nuclear deal under one umbrella. We request them to vote against the nuclear deal in Parliament," said Chandrababu Naidu, President of the Telugu Desam Party in Devarapalli.

The deal would be one of Singh's most important achievements in four years in office.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called on President Pratibha Patil, and stated that he and his Cabinet colleagues were keen to seek a vote of confidence as early as possible.

The precise date on which the Lok Sabha will be summoned for this purpose will be communicated to the President by the Prime Minister by this evening.

The meeting called in the wake of withdrawal of support by the Left Parties to the UPA Government and reiteration of SP's support to it lasted about half-an-hour.


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