Home India Politics Rajya Sabha to debate n-deal Tuesday

Rajya Sabha to debate n-deal Tuesday


New Delhi : The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament, will discuss the contentious India-US civilian nuclear deal Tuesday with a number of leading critics from the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a well as the Left expected to participate in the debate.

The Lok Sabha, the lower house, debated the deal Nov 28, and the BJP members walked out of the house at the end of the daylong discussion, protesting the government refusal to have Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reply to the points raised by them.

Most of the main BJP leaders opposing the nuclear deal are members of the upper house, including Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Murli Manohar Joshi – the trio who have led the party’s campaign on the controversial issue.

Similarly in the Left Front, which supports the government from outside but opposes the deal, most vocal critics of the nuclear deal, including Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Politburo members Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) general secretary Abani Roy and Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary D. Raja, are members of the Rajya Sabha.

Political observers do not expect the Rajya Sabha debate to be dramatically different from the one that took place in the Lok Sabha.

A surprising element of the Lok Sabha debate was Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party taking a sympathetic view of the deal. It remains to be seen if party general secretary Amar Singh will take a similar view in the Rajya Sabha.