V P Singh demands Manmohan's resignation

V P Singh demands Manmohan's resignation

August 12

Accusing the UPA Government of subversion of democracy, Jan Morcha leader V P Singh today demanded resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for ignoring the concern of the "majority opinion" against Indo-US nuclear deal.

The former Prime Minister also asked the Left parties, who have raised serious objections over the issue, to consider a vote on the Indo-US pact in Parliament.

"I have highest regard for Manmohan Singh. He is a man of conscience. When it is clear that the majority of the MPs are against the deal on which he has staked his name, I am sure, his conscience will dictate him to resign," Singh, former Prime Minister.

Referring to Singh's statement yesterday that the deal was "signed and sealed" and was "honourable", the Jan Morcha leader said that if the deal could not be renegotiated, then it can be "terminated".


11 August 2007

Press Statement

Prakash Karat, General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), has issued the following statement:

The Left parties have been consistently expressing their opposition to the July 2005 joint statement with the United States, which includes the nuclear cooperation agreement. After the Hyde Act was adopted by the United States containing unacceptable conditions, the CPI(M) has been asking the government not to proceed with the negotiations for the bilateral (123) agreement. We do not share the optimism that India can become “a great power with the help of the United States”. India is a country endowed with sufficient resources and self-confidence to carve out its own path of development.

The Prime Minister and the government must realise that this agreement is not acceptable to the majority in Parliament.

As far as the approach to the government is concerned, we will take our own counsel.


Anguished’ PM to Left: If you want to withdraw, so be it


New Delhi, Aug. 10: Tired of the Left parties’ constant bark, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dared them to bite after their latest diatribe against the Indo-US nuclear deal on Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview to The Telegraph, the Prime Minister said: “I told them that it is not possible to renegotiate the deal. It is an honourable deal, the cabinet has approved it, we cannot go back on it. I told them to do whatever they want to do, if they want to withdraw support, so be it….”

He was referring to his conversation with the CPM’s Prakash Karat and the CPI’s A.B. Bardhan on Tuesday night, hours after the Left released a statement on the nuclear deal.

In a frank conversation, the Prime Minister said he was “not angry but anguished” at the harsh tone and tenor of the Left’s reaction and made it clear that the UPA-Left relationship could not be a one-sided affair.

Replying to a question, he said: “I don’t get angry, I don’t want to use harsh words. They are our colleagues and we have to work with them. But they also have to learn to work with us.”

Although he did not raise his voice, those last 10 words had a hint of steel which underlined the Prime Minister’s new resolve to take on the Left. There was no immediate response from the Left leaders, Singh said, adding: “They haven’t thought it through.”

In the course of the interview, the Prime Minister made it clear that the Left had a flawed understanding not just of the 123 Agreement but also of India’s intrinsic strength and its enhanced status in the world.

On the nuclear deal itself, he said: “It is an honourable deal which enlarges India’s development options, particularly in regard to energy security and environmental protection, and it doesn’t in any way affect our ability to pursue our nuclear weapons programme. We have not surrendered an iota of our freedom in this regard; not an iota of our sovereignty.”

In this context, he referred to the interview in The Hindu newspaper today with R. Chidambaram, the former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and currently the government’s principal scientific adviser.

“I cannot improve on what he (Chidambaram) has said. He has said that all three conditions (there will be no effect on the strategic programme, there will be no deceleration in our three-stage nuclear power programme, and there will be no effect on our advanced R&D programme) have been met.”Asked why then was the Left objecting to the deal, the Prime Minister said: “I don’t know… (but) they seem to have a problem with the United States.”

Elaborating on his own stand, Singh added: “I want India’s relations to improve with all powers and we have been doing that — with the US, with Russia, with the EU, with France, and particularly with China. We have had a breakthrough with China, a historic agreement where we have defined the principles that will outline the border agreement….” On the Left’s fears that the 123 Agreement would draw India further into a strategic alliance with the US, rendering it an American satellite, Singh said: “How can we ever become anyone’s satellite? Yes, we live in an increasingly interdependent world but the challenge before us is to forge new linkages, widen our strategic options and, at the same time, guard against the negative side of the process of globalisation.”

Although he did not directly attack the Left’s stand on the US as outdated or alarmist, he made his meaning clear by referring to the way communist countries were dealing with the superpower.

China, he pointed out, had a huge trade surplus with the US but was not worried about losing its independence. “Look at Vietnam, look at China (the way they are engaging with America) — out of fear of dealing with the US, we cannot become a frog in the well,” Singh said.

If the Prime Minister was “anguished” at the Left’s obvious lack of trust in him to do right by the country, he appeared equally dismayed at their low levels of confidence in the nation. “India, with a billion people and with such a diversity of languages and cultures and religions, with its functioning democracy and respect for rule of law is a unique country; we are a role model for the world.”

By railing against the nuclear deal, the Left was “underestimating the intrinsic strength of India, of India’s capacity to defend its national interests”, he felt.



August 04, 2007

Press Statement issued by Shri Yashwant Sinha &Shri Arun Shourie on Indo-US nuclear deal

Preliminary comments of the BJP on the Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of the USA concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

1. The BJP has been expressing its reservations regarding the Indo-US nuclear deal from the very beginning. When the Joint Statement was issued at the end of the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington in July 2005, Shri Vajpayee issued a statement in which he expressed his reservations about the deal, specially with regard to its impact on our strategic nuclear programme.

He had expressed his apprehension at the proposed separation plan of our nuclear facilities between civilian and military. Later, when the separation plan was presented to Parliament, we expressed our opposition to it. We warned the Government of India when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House International Relations Committee of the US Congress adopted the draft bills for enabling this cooperation between the two countries.

We protested strongly when the Hyde Act was passed by the US Congress. We have consistently opposed the deal in Parliament whenever discussions on this deal have taken place.

None of our fears and apprehensions was ever given serious consideration by the Government of India. No effort was ever made by it to evolve a national consensus on this vital issue of national concern before making commitments to the US.

The text of the bilateral 123 Agreement has been made public on Friday, August 3, 2007.

We have looked at the text and our preliminary comments are as follows:

(i) Each party is required to implement this Agreement in accordance with its national laws and regulations and its licence requirements. There is no doubt, therefore, that the implementation of this Agreement shall be governed by the provisions of the Hyde Act of 2006, the US Atomic Energy Act of 1954, which are its national laws on this subject, and its licensing requirements relating to the supply of nuclear materials to India {article 2(1)}. The confidence with which US officials have asserted that the Agreement is Hyde act bound flows from this provision. Which act will India enforce on the US?

(ii) The Agreement is supposed to lead to full civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries yet article 2(2)(d) talks of cooperation relating to “aspects of the associated nuclear fuel cycle”. Aspects mean parts and hence all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle are not covered under this Agreement.

(iii) According to article 5(2) of the Agreement sensitive nuclear technology, heavy water production technology, sensitive nuclear facilities and major critical components of such facilities can be transferred to India only after an amendment to this Agreement has been carried out. The provision for such transfer should have been included in this Agreement itself instead of leaving it to a future amendment. It is a peculiar arrangement. Under the same provision, the US will retain the right of end-use verification of all its supplies. This will ensure that American inspectors will “roam around our nuclear installations”, a fear which was completely discounted by the Prime Minister while replying to the Rajya Sabha debate on 17.8.2006.

(iv) As far as fuel supplies are concerned, the commitment of the US in the Agreement is vague and futuristic. “The US is committed to seeking agreement from the US Congress to amend its domestic laws”. This assurance in article 5(6)(a) of the Agreement and the assurances contained in article 5(6)(b) of the Agreement is not only bad drafting but deliberately repeats an old assurance given by the US at the time of the separation plan and remains as evasive as it was then. According to article 5(6)(c), the India specific Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA is to be negotiated on the basis of these evasive assurances and requires India to place its civilian nuclear facilities under safeguards in perpetuity.

(v) India is required under this Agreement to establish a new national reprocessing facility dedicated to reprocessing safeguarded nuclear material under IAEA safeguards. If it is an agreement between two equal parties with reciprocal commitments, is the US accepting a similar provision for its reprocessing facilities? Is any such facility being created in any country belonging to the Nuclear Five?

(vi) Following the cessation of cooperation under this Agreement either party shall have the right to require the return by the other party of any nuclear material, equipment, non-nuclear material or components transferred under this Agreement and any special fissionable material produced through their use. {article 14(4)} Thus, notwithstanding the sugar-coated language which has been used in the Agreement to soften the blow, the fact remains that the US retains the right to recall all the supplies that it has made to India under this Agreement.

What is worse is that under article 16(3) despite the termination of this Agreement, the safeguards in perpetuity will continue to apply so long as any material or equipment or any of the by products thereof remain on Indian soil. Clearly, therefore, with regard to fuel supplies, reprocessing rights and the right to recall the equipments supplied, the US has maintained its position as in the Hyde Act. India, on the other hand, has accepted legally enforceable commitments in perpetuity.

There is nothing in the Agreement regarding the reprocessing of the spent fuel of Tarapur which has accumulated over the last 33 years. Nuclear testing has not been mentioned in the Agreement. According to the Government of India this is a matter of great comfort for us. This view is entirely untenable. When national laws apply, which includes the NPT, the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and the Hyde Act of 2006 which specifically forbid nuclear tests, where is the question of India having the freedom to test once we enter into this agreement? In other words, we are being forced to accept a bilateral CTBT with more stringent provisions than the multilateral CTBT.

In his very first statement in 2005, Shri Vajpayee had raised the issue of the financial cost of separation of our facilities between civilian and military. The Government of India has kept mum on this. To this cost has now been added the cost of setting up a dedicated reprocessing facility, the cost of holding strategic fuel supplies for the life time of all our future reactors and the cost of mammoth and intrusive IAEA inspections.

In the separation plan prepared under the surveillance of the US, two thirds of our reactors will be put in the civilian category under safeguards. The recently refurbished CYRUS reactor will be shut down. In course of time, 90% of our reactors will be in the civilian category.

In the ongoing negotiations in the Committee of Disarmament in Geneva, we have agreed to work together with the US for the early conclusion of the FMCT. We appear to have given up our insistence on international verification and all countries complying.

All these, along with the intrusive provisions of the Hyde Act are bound to have a stultifying effect on our strategic nuclear programme.

The BJP is of the clear view that this Agreement is an assault on our nuclear sovereignty and our foreign policy options. We are, therefore, unable to accept this Agreement as finalised. We demand that a Joint Parliamentary Committee be set up to examine the text in detail; that, after it has submitted its report, parliamentary approval be secured before this deal is signed; and that all further action on it should be suspended until this sequence is completed.

The manner in which this agreement has been pushed through, leads us to further demand that appropriate amendments be made in the Constitution and laws to ensure that all agreements which affect the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security shall be ratified by Parliament.



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