N-deal: UPA failed to take BJP into confidence

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Bangalore, Nov 12: The present stand-off on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal could have been averted had the UPA government made even a feeble attempt to convince the Opposition Parties on the ''good things'' about the deal, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani today said.

Speaking to newsmen onboard an aircraft, Mr Advani, who flew in to Bangalore to witness the swearing in of the BJP led coalition government in Karnataka, said the government was bending backward to convince its allies, the left parties, on the nuclear deal. But it showed an indifferent attitude towards the oppiosition. Had a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) been appointed to look into the deal, the result would have been different, he added.

He said the opposition parties could have given suggestions to overcome the problems posed by the Hyde Act of the US by amending India's nuclear laws.

He replied in the affirmative when asked whether it was too late to make attempts to convince the Opposition Parties on the issue.

Replying to a question he said that the BJP's opposition to the nuclear deal was purely driven by the national interest and not due to the Party's reservations against the US. However, this was not the case with the left parties, which had opposed to the deal due to their antipathy towards the deal. They would not have opposed the deal had it been with Russia or China, but this was not the case with the BJP, he added.

He said the BJP had in its previous avtar as the Jan Sangh had advocated India as a nuclear power, much before the Congress thought about it. He said after the first two nuclear tests, the successive governments had to abandon midway subsequent tests following pressure from the US.

He said the Indo-US nuclear deal sought to cap future tests and this was not acceptabdle to the BJP.


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