’We will re-negotiate deal if elected to power’

Government compromising sovereignty, he says

Centre “mismanaging” internal security, economy

HYDERABAD: The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), if returned to power, would not hesitate to conduct nuclear test again if the need arose, senior party leader and former External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, said here on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference, he maintained that the moratorium on tests declared by the Vajpayee government was only voluntary and the NDA “reserves the right to go for nuclear tests.” He reiterated that the NDA would “certainly re-negotiate” the India-U.S. nuclear deal.

The country was “not getting anything out of the deal,” he claimed. On the issue of assured fuel supply for lifetime of reactors, the U.S. stand was that it was only a “political commitment” and not a legal obligation. On sharing of sensitive technology and the right to re-process spent fuel, the U.S. had said that it would not provide the technology but prevent others also from giving it.

Charging the United Progressive Alliance government with compromising the country’s sovereignty, he said that it did not have the mandate to tie down India to a 40-50 year obligation.

He alleged that the deal was passed in a hurry because of the “commissions involved.”

Mr. Sinha accused the Centre of mismanaging the internal security and economy. Finding fault with the decision of Jamia Millia Islamia Vice-Chancellor Mushirul Hasan to provide legal aid to two students suspected to be involved in the Delhi blasts and the support extended to him by Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh, he said both deserved to be arrested.

Referring to the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil’s threat of invoking Article 356 against the Orissa government, the BJP leader advised him to first impose President’s rule in his own Ministry.

He said the government steps to curb inflation would only slow down the economy rather than contain inflation. The off-budget liabilities of the past one year were Rs.2.5 lakh crore. The government would leave unpaid bills of lakhs of crore of rupees for the next regime.

Meagre benefits, says Advani

PTI reports from Bareilly (U.P.):

Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani on Sunday sought to ridicule the United Progressive Alliance government over the India-U.S. nuclear deal.

Addressing a rally here in the politically key state of Uttar Pradesh, he said, “the benefits from the 123 agreement are meagre compared to the huge cost.

“Curbing rights”

“If someone approaches you asking for votes promising electricity after 20 years, tell them that you would vote for them after twenty years.

“Just to procure nuclear fuel, the government has entered into a deal which would curb our right to conduct nuclear test. The Manmohan Singh government will be remembered in history as one which blocked a third Pokhran,” Mr. Advani said, addressing a gathering as part of his ‘Vijay Sankalp’ rally.

He charged the Congress with compromising with the independence and sovereignty of the country and spending two lakh crore rupees for having five per cent of the energy requirements 20 years later while alternative sources like wind and solar energy were abundantly available in the country. — PTI