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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Indian MPs criticise nuclear deal
Protests in lower house of Indian parliament on Monday
On Monday PM Manmohan Singh described the deal as "historic"
The Indian parliament has been thrown into turmoil over a reported US statement that the nuclear deal would be ended if India tested another bomb.

Politicians from the opposition BJP party and the government's Left allies repeatedly disrupted proceedings.

They alleged that PM Manmohan Singh had misled the house on Monday when he said the deal would not undermine India's nuclear weapons programme.

The house has seen heated exchanges over the issue in the past few days.

Indian newspapers on Thursday reported the US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack as saying that the US reserved the right to cancel the deal if India carried out a nuclear test.

'Save India'

Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha - the two houses of parliament - witnessed angry protests by members of the opposition parties.

"Stop speaking lies. Stop selling the country and save India," the opposition members chanted.

The Communist allies of the Congress Party-led governing alliance also raised questions about the deal.

The protesting MPs demanded that the Prime Minister explain the situation in Parliament.

After repeated disturbances, both the houses were adjourned until Friday.

Under the deal, India gets access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel.

'Historic agreement'

The opposition and the government's Communist allies say the deal could compromise foreign policy.

The Prime Minister had said on Monday that the agreement was "historic" and would open new doors to India across the world.

He said the deal would not in any way affect India's right to carry out nuclear tests in the future or inhibit the country's nuclear weapons programme.

Under the agreement, India is allowed to reprocess spent nuclear fuel - something that is seen as a major concession and opposed by some members of the US Congress.

The government's Communist allies have described the deal as an unequal one and said it would give the US leverage over India's foreign policy.

The prime minister has refused to back down, even challenging the Communists to withdraw their support for his government.

The deal reverses three decades of US anti-proliferation policy and formalises a warmer relationship between India and the US who endured difficult ties during the Cold War.

Scenes of protest in India's parliament

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