M A I N   N E W S

Left, BJP want session; Cong fights back
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 4
The Opposition Left and the BJP have called upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resign immediately and simultaneously sought an immediate session of Parliament to nail the UPA government on the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal.

The opposition has reacted sharply to the disclosure of a 26-page explanatory letter written by the US State Department to the House Foreign Relations Committee in which the US administration has maintained that through this agreement, India will lose the right to conduct nuclear tests anymore.

On behalf of the Left and the new grouping around the Left, including the UNPA and BSP, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat announced here today, “We will shortly be going to President Pratibha Patil and seek an immediate session of Parliament where we can move a no-confidence motion against this government.”

Simultaneously BJP vice-president Yashwant Sinha along with former union minister Arun Shourie accused the Prime Minister of misleading Parliament and demanded his resignation.

Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma while terming the BJP’s charges as preposterous said, “India reserves its right to conduct nuclear tests under the 123 Agreement.”

Sinha said, “The country had deliberately and knowingly been misled by Manmohan Singh. It was very clear that India would lose the right to conduct nuclear tests for ever because of the accord” and added, “The Manmohan Singh government has no business to continue in office and should leave immediately.”

He said in view of the gross breach of privilege of both the Houses of Parliament, an immediate session should be convened within the shortest possible time to enable the BJP to move a privilege motion against the Prime Minister if the UPA did not quit.”

He recalled that from the beginning the BJP had maintained that the Hyde Act was an India-specific US law, governing the Indo-US nuclear deal under 123 agreement and the Bush administration had only confirmed the nation's worst fears. “One could not blame the US for misleading India but it was this government, which had deliberately and knowingly misled the people and Parliament on the deal,”

Sinha claimed that, “It is also clear that the deal will be terminated and all supplies will be stopped the moment India conducted nuclear test and all material supplied by the US will have to be returned.” He alleged, “There is no doubt that the deal did not contain any binding commitments by the Americans and others, regarding the fuel supplies, transfer of technology that has been claimed falsely by this government”.

Sinha said, “The Prime Minister knew the assurances he gave to Parliament were 'false' and his ministers and officials were indulging in ‘farce’ in diplomatic and parliamentary history,”

Referring to the latest defence by the government, Shourie said, “The statements of the Prime Minister from the beginning have been marked by lies. This is the 10th time he has lied. It is a great tragedy that we get to know all this from the US.”

Karat too spoke in the same vein stating that, “If the Indian government knew and asked them (the US administration) not to disclose this then they were privy to all the conditionalities and restraints about to be imposed on India, which is what we have been alleging all along. Therefore this government has no business to continue even for a day and should resign immediately.”

The Left and allies’ delegation is likely to ask the President to direct the government to hold a fresh session of Parliament and not to deem the session commencing from October 17 as a continuation of the two-day July 21-22 session.



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