The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday insisted that the government revert to the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology that examined the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, without mentioning “and” and “intent” in the controversial Clause 17.

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday insisted that the government revert to the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology that examined the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, without mentioning “and” and “intent” in the controversial Clause 17.

The opposition party's view was conveyed to Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan, who met Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Deputy Leader S.S. Ahluwalia in a bid to break the deadlock over the bill.

“We have conveyed to the government that without mentioning ‘and' and ‘intent', the Standing Committee report is fine,” Mr. Jaitley told journalists. The party was not agreeable to any dilution of the supplier's liability in the event of a nuclear catastrophe.

“Very difficult”

Earlier, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who was a member of the Standing Committee, told journalists it would be “very difficult” for the BJP to support the bill unless the government relented and went back to the language recommended in the report. Besides strengthening supplier liability, the report proposed a number of amendments, including raising the cap on the nuclear operator's liability to Rs. 1,500 crore.

“Why is the government playing hide-and-seek? What is the government's intent over ‘intent', we will question the government's intent. Why is the government trying to hoodwink the nation and mislead the people on the nuclear bill? We have major reservations about ‘intent'' and ‘wilful.' We, in the Standing Committee, succeeded in coming up with proposals which are India-centric and which protect the interests of the people of this country; if the government wants to puncture it, then it would be very difficult for the BJP to support it,” Mr. Rudy said.

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