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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
India PM hopes to complete term
Manmohan Singh
Mr Singh has described the deal with the US as "historic"
Indian PM Manmohan Singh says he hopes to complete his full five-year term and avoid early elections.

There has been widespread speculation about early polls following differences between the government and allies over a nuclear deal with US.

The communists say the deal, which will allow India access to civilian nuclear technology and fuel, gives the US leverage on India's foreign policy.

Mr Singh has refused to back down and says the deal is vital for India.

"Elections are still far away. This government still has one and a half years to complete its time," Mr Singh told a seminar in the Indian capital, Delhi.


"It is my hope and expectation that we will stay the course," he said.

The prime minister said if the nuclear deal did not come through, he would be disappointed.

"One has to live with certain disappointments. We are not a one-issue government. The deal not coming through is not the end of life," he added.

Mr Singh said the nuclear agreement was "an honourable deal that is good for India and good for the world".

He said: "The government is trying to reconcile the divergent points of view on the issue within the ruling coalition."

The deal has also been criticised by many outside India.

Under the landmark nuclear deal, 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 as India has not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

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