The news source reported that US officials consider that the deal would find it hard to muster support in the US Senate before the US president, George W Bush, leaves office in January 2009.

These officials have reportedly said that there is very little time for the deal to go through legislative processes, as the Indian government failed to reach common ground in the deal with its left-wing coalition partners.

Political analysts have pointed out that the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh is determined to force the bill through at a scheduled meeting between his United Progressive Alliance coalition and its left-wing partners, according to the Financial Times.

The deal will give India access to civilian nuclear technology and material without necessitating it to give up its nuclear arsenal or join the non-proliferation treaty. Under the terms of the agreement with the US, India has to secure approval for the deal from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

The news source noted that US officials are of the opinion that the contentious nature of the deal could cost it two months in approval time at the NSG, subsequent to which it can be submitted to the US Senate for final approval.