Jayalalitha criticises Amar Singh over N-deal panel


Chennai : AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha Sunday criticised fellow United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) leader Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party for stating that the government could set up some mechanism other than a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to look into the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Support TwoCircles

In a press release, Jayalalitha said, “The UNPA has not taken such a standpoint on the nuclear deal stand-off with the UPA government,” and added, “The views of Amar Singh would have to be treated as those of his own and his party’s alone.”

While the opposition has been demanding a JPC to study the implications of the India-US nuclear deal, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had formed a panel only of its own representatives and those of its Left supporters.

Amar Singh had then supported the UPA government, saying, “the ruling party could have its own mechanism with its allies and the Left.”

Jayalalitha, however, said: “There could only be one single committee or ‘mechanism’ on a crucial national issue for all parties, including the ruling allies, those supporting the government from the outside (as the Left and SP are doing) and opposition parties”.

“This (nuclear deal) is a national issue which cannot permit promotion of any sectional view and cannot be split into parts or atomised,” she said.

“The new viewpoint (Amar Singh’s) was never discussed between the UNPA constituents and certainly not with the AIADMK.”

Noting that the Samajwadi Party and the Telegu Desam Party, both UNPA constituents, had joined the Left parties in New Delhi to protest the join naval exercises involving five nations including India and the US in the Bay of Bengal, Jayalalitha said the Left had not invited the AIADMK to participate in the protest, though her party opposed the nuclear deal as well as the exercises.

“All these developments make me wonder if the AIADMK is still a part of UNPA or whether the UNPA continues to exist as one entity at all,” she said, giving rise to speculation that she may be preparing to return to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) camp.

Jayalalitha is seen as a natural ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with common views on security, anti-terror laws and national sovereignty, even though she was once instrumental in the fall of the BJP-led NDA government.

Though the UNPA was formed just ahead of the presidential elections and the group had decided to abstain from voting, Jayalalitha along with AIADMA MPs and MLAs had voted for NDA candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

On Friday, BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad had a 20-minute meeting with Jayalalitha at her residence; fanning speculation that she was being wooed to return to NDA, though BJP sources said it was a courtesy call.