Vinay Kumar

“Hence the UPA government should not proceed further with the agreement”

“Neither Hyde Act nor 123 agreement meets assurances given by Prime Minister”

“Government should first respect majority opinion expressed by Parliament”

NEW DELHI: The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday said there was no political consensus on the India-U.S. civilian nuclear deal and the UPA government should not proceed with the pact.

In a statement, the Polit Bureau said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s statement in the Lok Sabha referred to the negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency and in relation to the nuclear deal.

The Polit Bureau said:

“The Minister’s statement draws attention to ‘some statements by U.S. officials’ regarding the applicability of the Hyde Act to the civilian nuclear cooperation and asserts that the Hyde Act is applicable only to the U.S. side and India’s rights are protected in the bilateral 123 agreement.

“The U.S. official is none other than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who told the House of Representatives on Foreign Affairs Panel on February 14, ‘We will support nothing with India in the NSG that is in contradiction to the Hyde Act. It will have to be completely consistent with the obligations of the Hyde Act.”

“This has been the consistent position of the United States administration regarding the applicability of the Hyde Act. It has become the practice for the Indian government to reiterate that the Hyde Act has no relevance for India and it is not applicable to us. No one else believes this to be so. Neither the Hyde Act nor the 123 agreement, which has been drafted within the framework of the Hyde Act provisions, meets the assurances given by the Prime Minister in his August 2006 statement to Parliament.”

The Polit Bureau said: “It is ironical that the statement to Parliament says that the government will continue to ‘seek’ a broad political consensus within the country. The government should first respect the majority opinion expressed by Parliament when the 123 agreement was discussed in the winter session of 2007. The government should acknowledge that its stand on the nuclear deal does not have the support of Parliament. There is no political consensus and hence it should not proceed further with the agreement.”

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