BJP demands apology from PM on nuclear deal
Observing that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's statement has confirmed its fears about the Indo-US nuclear deal, BJP today demanded an apology from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA government for 'misleading' the nation.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani said the deal neutralises the achievements of Pokhran II, the atomic tests of 1998, and takes away India's right to conduct nuclear tests in the future.
Reacting to Rice's statement, party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said "she has stated that the 123 Agreement would be validated through Hyde Act" and confirms BJP's long standing fear that Hyde Act would supersede the 123 Agreement.
"However the UPA government has all along been saying that Hyde Act is an internal matter of the US government and India is concerned only with the 123 Agreement," Javadekar said.
Now that the UPA government has been proven wrong on its perception about Hyde Act, the Prime Minister and the UPA government should apologise to the nation, he said.
In his address at the annual meeting of FICCI, Advani said the deal was unacceptable to the BJP as "we are giving it in writing that here after they were will be no Pokhran III."
While favouring import of nuclear fuel to meet the energy requirements, Advani said if the price for it is compromising India's nuclear capability the "answer is no way".
"We are opposed to the Indo-US nuclear deal, because we do not want India's achievement in 1998 neutralised," he said noting that the atomic tests in 1998 had an effect far beyond the realm of national security as it raised India's stature.
On India's larger foreign policy template, Advani said "I would also like to state that a future NDA government will value all of India's strategic partnerships, and not let one undermine or influence another".
Echoing Advani's views, Javadekar said "the BJP has always been of the view that Hyde Act would restrict nuclear capabilities of India and is a deterrent to the country's nuclear ambitions".
Advani said his party wanted a joint parliamentary committee to look into the deal to address their fears, but the government chose to set up a committee with the Left parties to push through the agreement.
He said the UPA and the Left parties formed the committee hoping to find a solution. "See what is the solution," he added.
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