The Prime Minister has repeated once again that the government will seek the sense of Parliament after the Safeguards Agreement is approved by the Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the waiver is got from the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
What does this proposal amount to? Here are some of the facts:
· The 123 Agreement was signed between India and the United States in July 2007. This agreement was not put before Parliament before it was signed. As soon as the text of the 123 Agreement was made public, the Left parties and other political parties, which represent a majority in Parliament, came out against it.
· After the 123 Agreement was signed as per the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, the next steps to be taken to operationalise the agreement are : 1) India going to the IAEA for the Safeguards Agreement 2) the US approaching the Nuclear Suppliers Group for getting India a waiver from the guidelines.
· The government has gone to the IAEA and negotiated a Safeguards Agreement. The text of this agreement has not been shown either to the UPA-Left Committee or made public. The government now insists on going ahead for getting the Board’s approval without anyone seeing the text or the UPA-Left Committee giving its concurrence.
· As per the Prime Minister’s proposal, the government should be allowed to take the next step of getting the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s waiver.
· After both the steps taken for operationalisation of the deal, the Prime Minister promises to take the sense of Parliament. This would mean a fait accompli, as the only step left would be the vote in the US Congress.
· We wish to point out that already in December 2007, both the Houses of Parliament comprehensively discussed the 123 Agreement. It is on record that except for the UPA parties, all other parties which constitute the majority expressed reservations about the 123 Agreement and urged the government not to proceed further.
Hence, the repetition of the proposal by the Prime Minister shows a disregard for Parliament. It reveals nothing but an obsession to fulfill the commitment made to President Bush in July 2005 in which the people of this country and Parliament had no say.