Gargi Parsai

NEW DELHI: Despite the absence of an early commitment from the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) on their support to the India-U.S. nuclear agreement, the Congress party on Thursday asserted that there was no threat to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

“I am not unhappy. We never expected an immediate decision from the UNPA and the message of the meeting was not negative. It reflects the beginning of the journey for taking appropriate action,” said Chairman of the media committee of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC), M.Veerappa Moily, reacting to the UNPA announcement that they wanted a national debate on the deal.

Asserting that there was “no fear or threat” to the stability of the government, Mr. Moily said the numbers would follow if and when it comes to that. “When we say we are confident and stable, numbers would follow,” he said.

Without elaborating on “the nature and the extent” of support that was being worked out amid speculation on the Samajwadi Party extending an issue-based support to the UPA, Mr. Moily said, “Issues are being talked about. It is a process.”

He said the decision of the UNPA to have the deal scrutinised by experts was a question of perception held by them. “The Prime Minister got the National Security Adviser to brief [SP’s] Amar Singh and Ram Gopal Yadav on the deal. We will take anybody on board. There is no untouchability.”

Mr. Moily said the agenda of the coming G8 meeting in Japan was climate change. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would meet several world leaders there, including U.S. President George Bush. “He is not going there with an agenda [on nuclear deal].”

Quoting Mr. Amar Singh, he said communal forces were “more lethal” than the nuclear deal.