All further action in respect of N-deal be suspended until the government proves its majority on the floor of the House Draft safeguards agreement must be withdrawn from the IAEA if government loses trust vote.
The Bharatiya Janata Party notes with deep concern a report in The Telegraph (?Sink or survive, deal done?; July 16, 2008), which quotes ?a highly placed official? as saying that ?the deal is ?done?, whether the UPA survives the trust vote or not, the government believes. The safeguards agreement, to be put before nuclear watchdog IAEA'sboard of governors at a special August 1 meeting, would stay on course, unaffected by politics back home.? The newspaper has further reported: ?The deal will happen because the government is clear that it is in the supreme national interest. If the government has to go in the process, let it go, the source said. Earlier, sections of the government and a Congress spokesperson had hinted that if the government lost majority, it could withdraw the IAEA agreement.?
The Telegraph report has not been contradicted by the government so far.
If this is indeed the understanding of the government, it is a very serious matter. It is tantamount to showing disrespect and contempt for Parliament. The BJP would like to remind the people that, on July 20, 2005 ? that is, two days after Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and US President George Bush issued a joint statement about the Indo-US nuclear deal ? Dr. Singh was asked the following question by a reporter at a press conference in Washington: ?Mr. Prime Minister, do you see any resistance coming forward from your allies and the opposition in putting the new India-US policy to practice? And will you seek a parliamentary consensus or approval to the new direction you seem to be taking in foreign policy??
Dr. Singh'scategorical reply was: ?Well, the Parliament in our country is sovereign? It goes without saying that we can move forward only on the basis of a broad national consensus.?
Going by the report in The Telegraph, it appears that the Prime Minister no longer believes Parliament to be ?sovereign?. As far as ?broad national consensus? is concerned, it simply does not exist. Nevertheless, flouting his own assurance given three years ago, the Prime Minister has gone ahead with the deal.
The BJP had forewarned the people from time to time that the government was proceeding with the nuclear deal in a stealthy manner. The government had falsely described the draft safeguards agreement with the IAEA as a ?classified? document that could not be shared with the political parties in India. It flouted Foreign Minister Shri Pranab Mukherji'sown public commitment, given after the Left parties withdrew support to the government on July 8, that the government would go to the IAEA only after securing a vote of confidence in Parliament. And now the draft clearly shows that the government has effectively gone to the IAEA and that government has apparently concluded that the deal is to be a reality even if it is defeated on the floor of the House.
The BJP demands that the Prime Minister immediately make his stand on this matter known before the Lok Sabha'sspecial session convenes on July 21. We would like to alert MPs belonging to all parties about the government'sconspiracy to make the outcome of the trust vote irrelevant to an international deal which has serious implications for India'snational security in perpetuity.
The BJP would also like to know from the government why it has hurriedly sent a team of officials to meet the IAEA secretariat in Vienna tomorrow ? barely four days before the trust vote in Parliament on July 22.
We demand that all further action in respect of the nuclear deal be suspended by the government until it proves its majority on the floor of the House, in keeping with the moral standards and political norms of parliamentary democracy.
We also demand a categorical assurance from the Prime Minister that the draft safeguards agreement will be withdrawn from the IAEA in the event of his government losing the trust vote in the Lok Sabha.