Staff Correspondent

Bellary: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reassure Parliament that the sovereignty of the country would be protected in the nuclear deal with the U.S.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, he said the provisions of the U.S. legislation on the civilian nuclear deal, known as the Hyde Act, were quite contrary to the joint statement and the March 2, 2006 separation plan, agreed to between India and the U.S.

If accepted in the present form, it would not only threaten the country's sovereignty but also leave it at the mercy of the U.S. He hoped that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government would not succumb to any pressure by the U.S.

The legislation had given scope for insisting on annual certification from the U.S. President about India's good conduct, denying transfer of technology, interfering with the country's foreign policy, fuel supplies and the like, he said.

Terming the provision for annual certification of good conduct as `insulting', he said there was a lot of scope to blackmail the country.

Mr. Yechury said the U.S. legislation said that if India were to conduct nuclear tests, then the deal would be nullified. "Whether the tests will be conducted or not, this decision will have to be taken by India and not by others."

He was here to address symposia ahead of the 12th National Conference of Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) in January.