If voted back to power, the BJP would not shy away from conducting a fresh round of nuclear tests, party leader and prime ministerial candidate LK Advani said on Sunday.
In an interview to a Malayalam television channel, he said the two rounds of nuclear tests in Pokhran had earlier helped India position itself among world powers.
<b1>“Almost all nuclear powers never said that they would not test their nuclear stockpiles. So why should India do it? We don’t mind another blast if it is necessitated,” Advani said during a two-day tour of the state.
A restriction on conducting further nuclear tests was one of the reasons his party was opposing the nuclear deal with the United States. “Our opposition to the nuclear deal and the Left’s position on it are totally different. We have no plan to oppose everything American as the Left is doing. We are opposed to the provisions of the Hyde Act, which literally prevents the country from carrying out another explosion,” he said.
Advani said the nuclear tests were among the three things that had helped the country position itself among major world powers. “Consistent democracy, economic growth and the two nuclear blasts really helped India gain much respect. So we should be proud of these things.”
The UPA-Left committee on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal is slated to meet on May 5 to decide whether India goes ahead and signs the safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Later addressing newsmen here Advani termed the Left’s move to float a third front a meaningless exercise. “I don’t know what type of front they are talking about. They cannot dump their responsibility on the price rise and other issues so easily. So, now they are talking more about a meaningless exercise called the third front,” he said.