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Indian PM: Row Over Nuclear Pact Will Not Spark Early Elections


Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says he does not expect to call for early elections, despite a political clash over a controversial nuclear pact with the United States.

The pact would allow India to receive nuclear fuel and technology from the U.S., ending a three-decade ban. But India's communists have threatened to pull out of the government over the deal, saying it would undermine the country's nuclear program.

Speaking at a conference in New Delhi Friday, Mr. Singh said the agreement is "an honorable deal" that is good for India and the world. The prime minister says he hopes to reach an accord with the communists in order to save the India-U.S. pact.

Elections in India are still 18 months away, and Mr. Singh says he hopes and expects his government will "stay the course."

The deal has also been opposed by many U.S. lawmakers, who believe it will spark a nuclear arms race in the region.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.