Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

News-Update: US India Nuclear Deal Endangering India’s Majority Government?

Posted by K.E. White on August 22, 2007

News Summary: The US India nuclear deal has alienated leftist allies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s United Progressive Alliance. But will this bring down the government? And what about the nuclear deal? Proliferation Press reviews two takes on this story from Time and The Christian Science Monitor. Conclusion: While the nuclear deal might derail Singh’s government, the nuclear deal won’t be derailed in New Delhi.

Time Magazine paints a picture of a now handicapped Singh government, and China’s big win:

It’s possible the political brouhaha may force an early election, although that’s something none of the key political parties wants at this stage. More likely, the dispute will leave India stuck with a lame-duck government, hamstrung by its erstwhile left-wing partners. That would have a chilling effect on India’s vital economic liberalization plans — labor reform, the privatization of state-run enterprises and the loosening of restrictions on foreign direct investment — all of which the leftist parties have opposed in the past. If the nuclear deal fails, India will have lost more than just entry into the nuclear regime: with its own house in disarray, it will lose much of the credibility it has laboriously built up in the international community as an aspiring great power.

The biggest gainer, in that case, will be China. It has voiced concerns over the growing ties between Washington and New Delhi, which it views as a challenge to its own regional ambitions, and has reportedly been discussing a deal mirroring the Indo-U.S. agreement to allow India’s arch-rival Pakistan access to nuclear fuel and technology. Some in India say the leftist parties are playing right into China’s hands. “What is remarkable about the left’s self-view of India is how weak they think the country is,” says media commentator and political analyst Manoj Joshi. “They may do well to remember that India — with its nuclear-tipped armed forces, 8 per cent plus growth rate and burgeoning foreign exchange reserves — has never been stronger.”

But The Christian Science Monitor gives the lefists a little more credit:

Analysts believe that one way out of the standoff may be for the government and its communist allies to set up a panel of experts to scrutinize the deal in the hope that it would resolve their differences.

Neither side, after all, wants this row to end in elections. For the communists, the 2004 election in which Singh came to power gave them their best performance ever. They do not want a weakened Congress party to lose votes to the BJP. And neither side wants to send India to the polls on an issue that, as Rangarajan says, “is not an issue for most Indians.”

The nuclear pact does not seem to be the true focus of the Leftist parties and the BJP. The BJP is jockeying for a new election, hoping a crumbling nuclear deal will depict Singh as weak on security. The leftist parties, on the other hand, want more say on the critical domestic designs of the governing majority.

But could this now grim picture change when Singh delivers his constituents NSG approval—housing the globe’s major powers—for the US-India nuclear deal?

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One Response to “News-Update: US India Nuclear Deal Endangering India’s Majority Government?”

  1. pramod said

    I am neither a big writer nor a politician but would like to tell a little bit that because of politicians country has to suffer a lot. some power are to be in the hand of president so they can’t get such a issue to fight themselves and gives a chance to other country to take advantage of it. In this time when every thing is going to possible either it is matter of reservation or the matter for there benefits they all are united and solve there problem with peace even by bring the change in SAVIDHAAN but when the matter is about security and our position in globe we (politician) show the childhoodness. In my opinion leftist parties will turn his mind back which may be good in every angle.

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