It would be good if India and the US can indeed wrap up the nuclear deal on 18 July, the second anniversary of the initial agreement. Both sides have all their negotiating heavyweights at the table in Washington this week, and further delays will likely take the talks into the murky and uncertain territory of intense 2008 US presidential campaigning.
Domestically, we know what to expect if there is a deal. The BJP will again trot out infirm leaders and their likely ghostwritten letters that want foreign policy implementation also left to the legislative branch; the Left, with zero constructive domestic policies other than saying “no”, will try to score points with foreign policy. And those who once backed the agreement, such as the Third Front’s Chandrababu Naidu, will play Jekyll and Hyde to score points. We ought to trust our actual negotiators to not dilute the country’s interests—despite what the Opposition claims. In many ways, it is time to wrap up this critical deal.