Opposition walk out over End-User monitoring pact
The entire Opposition walked out of the Lok Sabha today, accusing the Government of succumbing to American pressure in signing an End-User monitoring agreement for defence purchases, though External Affairs Minister SM Krishna maintained there was no question of 'bartering our sovereignty'.india Updated: Jul 21, 2009 23:55 IST
Unhappy over External Affairs Minister SM Krishna's statement on the India-US End-User pact, the entire opposition on Tuesday walked out of the Lok Sabha, accusing the government of succumbing to American pressure.
Leader of Opposition LK Advani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said it was 'unimaginable' that American experts would be allowed to inspect Indian security establishments.
"If required, there should be a constitutional amendment, which will allow for the government to first take parliamentary approval before entering into such agreements," he said.
On Monday, India and the US signed a pact that allows for verification of end-use of military hardware that India purchases. The agreement was signed in the presence of Krishna and visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and will pave way for more defence deals between the two countries.
This morning, during zero hour in the house, all Opposition members, including those of the BJP, the Left parties and Samajwadi Party, unanimously opposed the end-user pact, stating that it will make India's security interests vulnerable.
Late on Tuesday afternoon, Krishna made a statement in the house on Clinton's visit. After the statement was tabled in the house, the chair allowed Opposition members to comment and all of them criticised the deal.
The members from the Left, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) walked out of the house to register their protest.
In his reply, Krishna said that while India had allowed for ad-hoc inspections during previous purchases, this agreement will streamline the process for future high-tech sales.
But, Advani, along with other opposition leaders, termed the statement as "unsatisfactory" and led his party members in walking out of the house in protest.