NATIONAL

Many enquiries about Brahmos: PM

MUMBAI JAN. 28. India has received several enquiries about the Brahmos cruise missile, developed jointly with Russia, and even invitations for collaboration in the field, according to the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee.

The missile, stated to be one of the most sophisticated of its class and having the capacity to carry a warhead of 300 kg to a target almost as many kilometres away, was displayed for the first time in the Republic Day Parade last Sunday.

Mr. Vajpayee did not name any country that had shown interest in the weapon or sought India's collaboration, and also did not indicate what would be India's response.

The revelation came during his address after he inaugurated a trade fair of indigenous products organised by the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) here today.

Plain-speaking to SJM

While stressing that the country's policies had always aimed at achieving self-reliance and self-respect, he did some plain-talking to the SJM though he invited it to work with the Government. Mr. Vajpayee told them that he would tolerate their criticism provided they understood his difficulties.

The SJM has been highly critical of the Vajpayee Government's economic policies, particularly in the areas of liberalisation and privatisation.

Mr. Vajpayee advised the SJM to take a holistic view of the problems and not to consider them piecemeal.

The SJM had been working for the awakening about the `swadeshi' for the past 40 years and now it was time for it to put the `swadeshi' into practice.

There could be differences of opinion but these should not be allowed to raise walls around and if one desired a wall, a window should be left it so that contact remained in the national interest.

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Sushilkumar Shinde, welcoming the Prime Minister, said that political differences would not be allowed to come in the way of working with the Centre for the betterment of the poor and in the interest of the country.

Earlier, the SJM convener, S. Gurumurthy, said that over a decade's experience had shown that the unification of the world economy as envisaged in the concept of globalisation was not working and certainly not in the interests of a country such as India. The local forces had come forth into the play and the emerging order looked like ``glocalisation.'' In this context, `swadeshi' was a relevant and necessary programme.

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