The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday launched a broadside against the United Progressive Alliance government over the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill and accused it of working for U.S. interests.

Spokesman Syed Shahanawaz Hussain told reporters here that the bill failed to hold American and other foreign suppliers responsible in the event of a nuclear accident. “There are no liabilities on the part of foreign suppliers.”

‘Liability capped'

“The operator's liability is capped at Rs. 500 crore, and the government's liability and that of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for nuclear damage is capped at Rs. 2,200 crore each; but in the U.S., the operator's liability is capped at Rs. 30,000 crore,” Mr. Hussain said.

Criticising the government for trying to delete Section 17 (b) of the Bill (which makes foreign suppliers liable for damage in case of a nuclear accident), Mr. Hussain said the note had “circulated on June 8 without Cabinet approval.” “Only after the BJP raised the issue did the government agree to withdraw the inimical amendment.”

“Had there been such a cap on Union Carbide, its chief Warren Anderson would never have been able to flee the country,” he said.

As for the Bihar Assembly elections, Mr. Hussain said price rise would be a major campaign issue for the BJP.

Asked whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would campaign for the party, Mr. Hussain said the party would decide who would campaign and who its candidates would be at an “appropriate time.”

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