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BJP's turn to feel Wiki sting

delhi Updated: Mar 20, 2011 00:49 IST
HT Correspondent

After two days of government-bashing over WikiLeaks, main opposition BJP was caught in the cable snare on Saturday.

A cable revealed the BJP had assured the US its opposition to the nuclear deal was aimed mainly at domestic posturing.

It was revealed that BJP leader LK Advani had assured an American diplomat that the party's shrill anti-deal rhetoric at home notwithstanding, it had no intention of reopening the deal if it came to power in 2009.

This led to the Congress attacking the BJP over its different yardsticks, even as the party scrambled to check political embarrassment.

"For the BJP, chickens have come home to roost and they have come rather soon," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said.

Tewari said the BJP had made WikiLeaks "the Holy Grail of their political philosophy" even when Congress had warned them not to give credence to hearsay.

"Now the shoe is on the other foot. It is for the BJP to explain to the nation whether they will apply same standards to themselves as they attempted to apply to the government by needlessly disrupting Parliament for the last few days," Tewari said.

The BJP, however, denied there was any doublespeak and maintained that because of its strong position, the government had to come with 16 amendments to the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill.

"We have made our position clear in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and through our press statements that we value strategic relations with the US and that all sources of energy should be tapped," BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar.

"We keep national interest foremost...there is no double speak."

He emphasised the BJP had raised some objections to the N-Liability Bill, forcing the government to make 16 amendments.

The leaked cable also quoted Javadekar as saying that the BJP was not really upset with the US-India relationship, but wanted the Indian and US governments to be more forthcoming about deals on nuclear policy.

It also named BJP national executive member Seshadri Chari telling a US embassy official in December 2005 not to read too much into the foreign policy resolution, which were critical of the UPA's "subservience" to Washington.

He called it standard practice.