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BJP upset with Kalam

Former Prez APJ Abdul Kalam may have been the BJP’s favourite but his endorsement of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal has not gone down well with the party. Shekhar Iyer reports.

delhi Updated: May 12, 2008 01:32 IST
Shekhar Iyer

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam may have been the BJP’s favourite but his endorsement of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal has not gone down well with the party.

Kalam’s statement, which was welcomed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the hope that the country would listen to the “voices of wisdom,” has upset senior BJP leaders.

On the heels of Kalam’s endorsement, the PM expressed hope about “the voices of wisdom” prevailing on political parties. “Our answer is ‘no’ if you want to know whether we will change our stand on the deal because Kalam has come out in support," said Yashwant Sinha, senior BJP leader and former External Affairs Minister.

Jaswant Singh, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, too is of the same view, adding that, even Kalam was in favour walking out of the deal for the sake of conducting a test.

“Kalam has changed his views, which means abandoning India’s strategic autonomy,” Singh told a TV channel. He also said there was an impression that the statements by “eminent people was equal to national interest, which is not so in this case.”