Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha on Monday questioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his decision to address an upcoming seminar on nuclear non-proliferation, claiming that he was now the head of a "lame duck" government who cannot make any policy decisions in view of the Model Code of Conduct which has come into force ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
In a letter to the prime minister, Sinha raised serious objections over the huge government funding for the seminar, saying that most of the proposed speakers for it were "known anti-India, non-proliferationists".
Some of them have been openly supporting the interests of Pakistan while blaming India for the problems the neighbouring country faces, alleged Sinha, a former external affairs
Sinha demanded that the proposed seminar on 'Nuclear-Weapon Free World', being organised by the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses on April 2 and 3, be postponed in view of the upcoming elections.
The "expensive" seminar is "ill-designed and ill-timed", he said.
He questioned whether the seminar was a "camouflage for furthering the cause of non-proliferation and creating further embarrassment for India".
Hitting out at Singh, Sinha said, "You are the head of a lame duck government. General elections are round the corner. We are likely to have a new government and a new prime minister in less than three months from now. What then are you going to say in your address?”
"Clearly, you cannot make any policy statement at this conference in view of the election code of conduct. If you are going to make only a routine speech, then why spend such a large sum of money on a conference of this nature at this juncture?"
Sinha also recalled the Indo-United States nuclear agreement which the prime minister had pushed, saying the deal had come a cropper as not a single watt of nuclear power has been added due to it, although India is still bound by the commitments made under the '123 agreement'.
"Is this conference another ploy to take India further along the dangerous path in the dying days of the UPA government," he questioned.
Image: A protest against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh