A crucial United Progressive Alliance ally, the Communist Party of India criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for raising the issue of differences among political parties on the nuclear agreement with United States in his talks with President George W Bush, saying he should not have done so.
"Who said or did not say what in Parliament or outside it on all these issues, why should Dr Singh say anything (to President Bush)," CPI general secretary A B Bardhan said. He also said that as far as issues such as separation of civil and military nuclear facilities by India, as per the agreement for nuclear cooperation with the US, are concerned, it will be wholly India's decision and there was no need to offer any clarification to America.
"These are our matters. The entire decision has to be ours. We should not do anything at anyone's behest. This has been the stand of the Left," Bardhan said. "Neither does President Bush have any right to ask us nor do we need to give him any clarification."
The Left has been critical of the India-US nuclear deal, signed during Dr Singh's visit to Washington in July. In their talks in New York on Wednesday, Bush told Dr Singh that he remained fully committed to the agreement and hoped that he would get the US Congressional approval for it.
In response, Singh said he had Indian Parliament's backing for the agreement, although he was surprised that his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been sharply critical of it.