Mukherjee reasserts to seek Parliament nod on N-deal
Maintaining its earlier statement, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government would not go ahead on the nuclear deal and the US Congress for ratification without taking its own Parliament’s consent.
“Before we go for ratification of the Indo-US nuclear deal in the American Parliament, we will come to Parliament to take the sense of the House even though there is no provision in the Constitution that stands in our way,” opined Mukherjee.
He was speaking to reporters during an orientation programme on Parliament reporting on Wednesday.
Mukherjee’s remark indicates gradual shift in the government perception with the passage of time, which had earlier maintained that international treaties comes in the domain of Executive. And later, he shifted from its earlier statement amidst Left parties’ pressure to withdraw their support to the government if it goes ahead on nuclear deal without seeking Parliament’s approval.
"If at that point of time, Parliament refuses to move the legislation, the international agreement will be of no use," he stated.
The recent remark is quite significant in the wake of the joint meeting of the UPA and its Left allies which are likely to meet next month on 6th of May to discuss the state of government’s negotiations with the IAEA on the safeguards agreement for implementing the Indo-US nuclear deal.
The vociferous Left an ally of the UPA comprising other Opposition parties have been showing their apprehensions over different aspects of the nuclear deal, which they considered would make India a dependent on US. The Left have been demanding the ruling Congress to seek Parliament’s approval before taking any forward action on the deal especially when the government have no majority on the issue.
Mukherjee in response to a query raised by some parties demanding that international treaties by sanctioned by the government said that the sense of the House would be taken only after the three-step process of the deal would be completed.
These three process are 123 agreement, which has been completed, the next step of IAEA India-specific safeguards agreements is yet to be done and the last step of amendment to the NSG guidelines would clear picture on the Indo-US nuclear deal, to come into operation or not.
Sitaram Yechury, a senior member of the Politburo of the CPI (M) in his interaction to the media said our opposition to the nuclear deal still persists and the government should consider the findings of the Left-UPA committee before going to the next step.
‘We have been opposing the 123 agreement on the ground of the conditions mentioned in the Hyde Act, which would interrupt India in pursuing independent foreign policy and would make it a dependent on US.’
The Left parties had made it amply clear to the government that they would need to study the draft agreement before spelling out their stand on it. The way to the India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA would allegedly pass through the outcome of UPA-Left meeting.
First meeting of UPA-Left committee
Earlier on March 17 the UPA committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee in the last round of discussion briefed the Left allies about negotiations regarding safeguard agreements conducted with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Mukherjee though refused to comment over whether the deal had majority of members of Parliament or not but remarked, “the judgment is premature in the sense that the process is not yet complete.”
Perception changes with the passage of time. India’s nuclear policy has also changed in due course of time. He was pointing towards disagreement once for civil nuclear agreement.
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