‘PM does volte-face on nuclear deal’

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu termed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on Thursday on the Indo-US nuclear agreement as a volte-face.

Replying to a question at a press conference here on Saturday, he said it was strange that a Prime Minister who until recently said US President George Bush was a ‘friend of India’, now thought it was not the end of life if the deal did not come through.

Asked if the speculation so far about a mid-term election to Lok Sabha was a calculated move on the part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to draw reactions from other political parties, specially the Left, he declined a direct comment. He however said, “Probably the Congress was afraid of facing an election. ” Asked for his views on Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s reported move to order an inquiry by a former High Court judge to go into his assets in comparison to the TDP’s demand for a sitting judge, he said, ‘The allegations were levelled against the Chief Minister. It is for him to prove his innocence.” The TDP president declined to spell out his stand whether he preferred a probe by a retired judge or a sitting judge.

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