Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More of a Bad Feeling on India ...

I always said that the ill-advised letter sent by members of Congress earlier this year to Indian prime minister Singh would backfire. The U.S.-India nuclear deal came up for discussion again in the Rajya Sabha and former Minister for External Affairs and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha unleashed another withering attack against the Singh government for essentially selling out India's national interests. He asked whether the government had been unable to secure acquiring nuclear reactors from Russia under U.S. pressure. The Indian Communist leader joined the chorus, arguing that Singh's government had scuppered a proposed gas pipeline from Iran also under U.S. pressure.

A number of observers have questioned whether Singh can get the deal through if there are more than 300 deputies in the lower house opposed and a majority in the upper house as well.

The Indo-Asian News Service reports:

"With the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which leads the four-party Left Front, making it clear in again that it will not allow the deal to be completed as it will make India a 'subordinate ally' of the US, the Indian government's bid to make the nuclear deal operational appeared doomed to failure.

"At the end of nearly eight-hour long debate that went on till 11.30 p.m., it appeared that a majority of the MPs were opposed to the nuclear deal either because they suspected it will affect India's strategic programme or they had misgivings about the handle it will allegedly give to Washington in manipulating New Delhi's foreign policy."

Not looking good at all--and the posturing of U.S. members of Congress helped to play right into this.

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