Joshi criticises Congress for keeping mum on Nandigram issue

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 18 (UNI) Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today criticised the Congress-led UPA government for keeping mum on the Nandigram issue.

Mr Joshi told newspersons here that none of the leaders from the Centre, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi, had yet visited Nandigram to take stock of the situation.

The BJP leader alleged that total anarchy prevailed in Nandigram where the CPI(M)-led government had unleashed a reign of terror through its party cadres.

He said such incidents had not happened even in Russia and China.

Mr Joshi said West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi had already described the situation in Nandigram as a war zone, adding that the Union Home Secretary had also made a similar statement.

However, the Union government had not yet intervened.

''This proves that the UPA government does not want to displease the Left Front and seek their support on the Nuclear Deal issue,'' he said.

Mr Joshi said some constitutional ways should be developed to improve the situation and steps taken to punish the guilty and restore rule of law.

The former Union Minister said the BJP was opposed to the Nuclear Deal in the form in which it was signed.

Under the provision of the deal, almost all the reactors would be opened for international scrutiny and the country would not be able to conduct any atomic test, he opined.

The deal, he alleged, if implemented, would take away the nuclear independence of the country.

''The argument that the deal would meet the energy needs of the country is not correct,'' he remarked.

''After spending around Rs 84,000 crore, the country will be able generate only five per cent of the total energy requirement from nuclear sources, that too after a decade,'' he said.

Mr Joshi said the deal was totally in favour of the US.

''Even officials of the US administration said after signing the deal that India would be brought under the NPT and CTBT,'' he claimed.

The BJP leader criticised the wide scale economic disparity prevalent in the country.

''Though the government claims that only 25 per cent of the population is below the poverty line, the Gupta committee, appointed by the Centre, in its report, said 23 per cent of the people was developed, out of which, only five per cent were wealthy,'' he said.

He said a policy should be made to remove the disparity.

The former Union Minister said the BJP would raise all these issues in the Parliament session beginning tomorrow.

UNI

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