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Home > News > PTI

India should retain nuclear test option: BJP leader

September 25, 2006 17:57 IST

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Indo-US Nuclear Tango
Making a pitch for India retaining the option of conducting nuclear tests, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former union minister Murli Manohar Joshi on Monday accused the United Progressive Alliance government of compromising the country's strategic and food security under US influence.

"The Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement in its present form will put in jeopardy India's nuclear programme and would hardly help it secure adequate quantities of nuclear fuel to run its nuclear power reactors," Joshi told a press conference.

Charging the Manmohan Singh government with accepting "adverse conditions" of the US in order to clinch an agreement, Joshi said, "Before the agreement is finalised, India should make it clear that it would retain the nuclear test option.

"Otherwise the deal will compromise our strategic security.

"There is no exit clause in the proposed deal and if it is finalised with provisions that would adversely impact India's security interests. The future governments at the Centre would not be obliged to honour the agrement," he said.

A number of people, including senior scientists, who have served on the Atomic Energy Commission, have voiced their reservations to the provisions of the deal. He urged for treating food security on par with strategic security.

Referring to the concern voiced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chief Sonia Gandhi over the plight of the farmers at the Congress chief ministers' conclave in Nainital, he said, "Unfortunately, they could not think beyond lowering the interest rate on farm loans.

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