The nuclear industry stands to lose out on billions of dollars if the India-US nuclear deal doesn’t go through. One would then think that industry mavericks would have enough sense to systematically negate any opposition to the deal. Given the amount of money at stake, I would imagine that as readily feasible and not even too difficult, because the opponents of the deal stand merely on an ideological leg*, albeit a rather dogged one; but historical evidence points at idealists, with no monetary gain from their position, as being the easiest group to buy out.
What I think went wrong was that they accounted only for the opposition in US, and completely left out the Indian left. Big mistake, considering they could have bought out the Indian opposition for a fraction of the money they must have put into getting the deal through the US senate. And since the pissed communists have gone very public with their position, it would be rather difficult for them to sell out now without seriously denting the party’s future value.
If India had a sizable private nuclear industry, they would have been very aware of this risk and taken steps towards managing the opposition, and in all probability, this deal would have already been in place. And if at all Congress shows some uncharacteristic spine towards going through with the deal, it is mostly coming from the Ambanis who have indicated an interest in nuclear power.
* Unless the OPEC is secretly pumping in money to oppose any movement on the alternate energy front. That is a clearly long shot even by the standards of my hyper-active imagination, because at present, I don’t think oil and nuclear power are competing technologies; but of course there is some scope for that in the future if electric cars become popular.