Clear Pranab's failed Russia mission: BJP

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New Delhi, Oct 18: Taking note of frisking of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his recent visit to Russia, the BJP today said the Government owed an explanation to the country if the visit was planned in haste or was intended to checkmate the domestic crisis involving the Left parties.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said Mr Mukherjee was not even able to meet his Russian counterpart who was busy receiving US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was on a tour abroad.

Either this was an ill-timed exercise or more to secure a breather from the Left which was breathing down the UPA's neck on the Indo-US nuclear deal, he said.

There was no satisfactory reply to a question that the NDA ministers too had been strip searched during their visit to the United States.

Another BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had issued three kinds of statements on the issue.

After asserting that there would be no renegotiation on the nuclear deal, he later said that it would not be the end of life if the deal would not be through. While in Nigeria, he spoke to US President George W Bush about the difficulties in operationalising the deal, and his latest statement in South Africa was that he was still trying to bring consensus on the issue.

The country should know which of these statements is correct.

This is only a telling statement coming from a helpless Prime Minister and the chaotic situation prevailing in the country over the deal, Mr Prasad said.

As far as the BJP is concerned, they are not against having good relations with the US, but not at the cost of surrendering national security and nuclear sovereignty, he added.


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