Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"US house approves nuclear deal,", September 29, 2008.

WASHINGTON: The Indo-US nuclear deal has moved into the last lap clearing a major hurdle when the House of Representatives approved legislation on it. It has now gone to the Senate. Once the Senate clears the bill, the agreement reached between the two countries three years ago will be ready to be inked by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Rice's visit to New Delhi on October 3 may be rescheduled, a high-ranking Indian official accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

The External Affairs Minister who is in New York is scheduled to return to the Indian capital on October 3. The Prime Minister voiced happiness that the nuclear deal has crossed another hurdle following its approval by the House. "I am happy that one hurdle has been crossed but I think that is not the end of the legislative process. So, we will wait for the final outcome," he told reporters on way to France at the end of his five-day visit to the US.

Diverse reactions NEW DELHI: The passage of Indo-US nuclear deal by the US House of Representatives evoked diverse reactions from the political class with Left parties saying there is nothing to celebrate while Congress described it as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's "highest feat" of diplomacy.

The BJP declined to pass a judgment saying the bill is still to be cleared by the US Senate. Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said there was "nothing surprising" in this development and that both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Americans wanted to seal India's surrender" to the "American dictats," he said adding that the Prime Minister was "in his own timewrap". "There is nothing to celebrate.

The apprehensions expressed by Left parties have come true," CPI National Secretary D Raja said. Raja came down heavily on the approval by the House of Representatives alleging "corporate house and military-industrial complex of the United States played a key role in lobbying to get the deal passed".

India is "bailing out" the United States from its "grave economic crisis", he added. Raja said the Left will collectively take a decision about the course of action on the issue as the deal "undermines New Delhi's nuclear self-reliant programs and make the country dependent on American nuclear business". Forward Bloc Secretary D Deverajan alleged New Delhi will be forced to formulate future foreign policy matters in congruence with American policies.
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