N-deal not in consonance with foreign policy: E Ahamed

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New Delhi, July 12 (UNI) Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed today expressed serious apprehensions over the Indo-US nuclear deal, stating that it would adversely affect India's independent foreign policy.

Talking to reporters, Mr Ahamed said he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and convey to them the reservations of his party, IUML, over the deal, which also impinged on the non-alignment policy of the country.

He, however, made it clear that he would continue as a Minister and, as the lone Lok Sabha member of his party, would support the UPA government at the time of the trust vote on July 22.

IUML could not vote against the government merely based on its views on the nuke deal alone as it had done a lot for the minorities in the light of the Rajinder Sachar committee report on their status.

He would try to get the concerns of his party over the deal addressed by remaining within the government, he clarified.

Asked whether his party would support the deal if it was finalised in its present form, he said that stage was still far away and there was no need to think on those lines now.

He, however, did not clarify how he, as a Minister, could oppose the deal as it went against the principle of collective responsibility of the government.

He counter-questioned a reporter on this issue: ''Just because I am a Minister, am I not supposed to think on the party line?'' UNI PMD/SN PK RK1750

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