BJP rules out abstaining from vote in Parl on nuke deal

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) The BJP today firmly rejected the suggestion that it should abstain from voting in Parliament and allow the Indo-US nuclear deal to go through when it comes up for discussion and voting in the winter session of Parliament.

Former foreign minister and BJP Vice-President Yashwant Sinha, in an interview with the CNN-IBN, said the party had ''fundamental opposition'' to the deal finalised by the UPA government which offered a 'subservient status' to India.

''Why should we shirk our responsibility to oppose the deal in its present form. It is our duty to oppose the deal...It is not the responsibility of the main Opposition party to save the government,'' he said.

He denied the suggestion that the BJP may not press for a discussion on the pact in Parliament with a provision that did not entail voting. The BJP would prefer the discussion with a vote although the CPI-M has said that it wanted to discuss the issue under a provision that did not have voting.

About the US leaders like former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and others meeting BJP leaders L K Advani and party President Rajnath Singh, Mr Sinha said the party was allowing anyone to express themselves on the nuclear deal and the party was under no pressure to change its views and accept the deal.

''If the BJP has anything to do with the decision making process in future, we will never accept such a deal. We are opposed to this from day one,'' he affirmed.

He said he did not accept the views of Mr Kissinger that the Indo-US relationship would suffer if India did not sign the deal.

''The US did not sign the Kyto Protocol, the CTBT and the League of Nations. What happened? We can't accept the logic that you have no right to protect yourself because you are weak,'' the former foreign minister said.

He said the UPA government had committed a 'basic mistake' that it had not taken the political parties even in Parliament into confidence. ''Now it is a 'done deal' and the US has said that they will not renegotiate it again. We can't accept a deal that will make India a subservient nation.'' Mr Sinha said India had conducted nuclear tests when the BJP was in power and declared the country a nuclear weapons state and enunciated the nuclear doctrine which has been adhered by the present regime.

''The deal severely affects this doctrine of 'credible minimum deterance' and it is not acceptable to the country. It is mischievous to suggest that the BJP should support the deal sacrificing the national interest just because it authored a better relationship with the US,'' he added.

UNI

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