Indo-US nuke deal to figure in parliament session


New Delhi : The monsoon session of Parliament beginning this week is expected to be a tumultuous affair with the opposition raising doubts over the Indo-US nuclear deal, being tom-tommed as the best possible pact by the government.

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The month-long session beginning August 10 will witness the vice presidential election on the opening day itself, and the victory of UPA-Left nominee Hamid Ansari appears to be a mere formality.

The opposition BJP is training its guns on the government and has demanded the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to examine the text of the 123 agreement to implement the civil nuclear deal with the US. It also wants parliamentary approval to be secured before the deal is signed.

The BJP has dubbed the pact as an “assault” on the country’s nuclear sovereignty and its foreign policy options, and has made it clear that it is “unable to accept this agreement as finalised”.

The Left parties, key outside supporters of the ruling UPA, have not revealed their stand on this issue as they are still studying the document thoroughly, while the Third Front, formally known as the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), has upped its ante against the deal.

The UNPA will meet here on August nine, a day before the session, to chalk out its strategy and has made its opposition to the deal known, alleging that it has “mortgaged” the country’s sovereignty.

The eight-party alliance, which pulled in different directions in the presidential poll, will raise in Parliament the police firing in Andhra Pradesh in an attempt to corner the Congress and put up a united front.