Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party has charged the Congress-led government with disowning Pokhran II by ignoring the 10th anniversary of the nuclear explosions that had put India among nations with nuclear weapons.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad went even further, saying the United Progressive Alliance government had cut back on funds available to the nuclear energy programme; it had put in cold storage the country’s inter-continental ballistic missile programme; and the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme has been closed. “Our charge is that India’s nuclear deterrent capability is being compromised,” he added.

The BJP, like its fore-runner the Jana Sangh, has always favoured the bomb, said Mr. Prasad and pointed out that the Jana Sangh had welcomed the development though Indira Gandhi had presided over Pokhran I in 1974. May 11 is not only the anniversary of Pokhran II but also of Pokhran I and the BJP deplored that it went without anyone taking note of the day.