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Home > News > PTI

N-deal: PM takes on Opposition in Lok Sabha

December 18, 2006 17:09 IST

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday made it clear in Lok Sabha that India's strategic programme will not be subjected to any international scrutiny.

Intervening in a debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal, Dr Singh said the 'content and scope' of the strategic programme was not discussed with the US or any other country.

"Our strategic programme will respond to our own decisions and not be subjected to any international scrutiny," he said.

Dr Singh assured the House that the agreement will not hurt policy of the Department of Atomic Energy in pursuing research and development. "I can assure the House that I stand by that commitment," the prime minister said.

The prime minister asserted that the objectives of 1970s of the Atomic Energy Commission, of which he was a member, had not materalised. He said since 1970, only 3600 MW of power from nuclear energy had been generated.

"I am not saying that nuclear power is the panacea for our energy," Dr Singh said, adding that the deal will help in augmenting the nuclear power capacity.

Earlier in the day, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Opposition pressed for rejection of India's civilian nuclear deal with the United States, saying that the American legislation on the pact would reduce New Delhi's status to a 'client state' of Washington.

Leader of the Opposition L K Advani, who opened the debate in the Lok Sabha on the nuclear agreement with the US, maintained that the legislation on the pact sought to put new controls on India.

"I have a lurking suspicion that the prime minister wants no more Pokhrans," he said, recalling Dr Singh's reservations over the May 1998 nuclear testing by the then National Democratic Alliance government.

Washington, he insisted, was 'virtually dictating' what India's nuclear policy should be. Advani demanded an explanation from the prime minister in the light of his August 17 assurance to Parliament on the nuclear pact.

"As far as I understand, the prime minister cannot square the circle. There is no alternative but to reject the idea to enter into the deal," the BJP leader said.

"Do not push India into the dangerous trap of self-enslavement. India cannot become a client state of the United States," he said.

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Sub: PM Assures The House

The assurance by the PM does not carry weight.The points raised by the opposition were not for the purpose of scoring political one-up-manship.They are the ...

Posted by S.Ramaswamy



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