Sunday, May 04, 2008

Congress still striving to see whether nuclear deal can go forward ?

That's a joke. The Congress made a decision many months ago that it cannot afford to let the Government fall, and in the face of the open threats by the left parties, after an initial show of resistance, the Government backed down. In the face of reports over the last few months, it is clear that the allies refused to consider going ahead with the deal if the Left dropped support, and the Congress leadership itself did not see the deal as something that would win it an election, and hence, for political reasons, the deal was declared dead.
The Government had also told the United States (where the President as well as the Indian American community had spent considerable effort in pushing for the deal) that the deal was off, and in the current circumstances, there is no way the deal looked set to go. With all this settled, one wonders as to why the Government is still resorting to this regular drama of the UPA-Left coordination committee:

The UPA-Left committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal would meet here on Tuesday with the Left parties, providing outside support to the Congress-led ministry, sticking to their guns and the government saying it would seek the sense of Parliament on the matter.
"We will consider what the government will report to us on its talks with the IAEA. On that basis, we will take the issue forward," a senior Left leader said when asked about the stand they would take at the upcoming meeting. Asserting that the Left opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal continued, he said the government was committed to consider the findings of this committee while taking the next step on the nuclear deal.

The last such meeting took place on March 17, more than a month and a half back, and there does not seem to be anything that would make the Left change its stand. Even though the deal has been supported by strategic observers and by nuclear observers, and most international countries consider this a sweet deal for India, both the Left and the BJP are opposed to the deal and there does not seem to be a way forward. It is better for the Government to stop this drama.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 3:58 AM