Give us mandate, we will drop nuke deal: Advani

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New Delhi, Nov 28: Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani today assured the nation that if the BJP-led NDA was given a mandate, it would re-negotiate the Indo-US Civil Nuclear deal or even drop it as it was detrimental to vital and long-term national interests.

''If we are given a mandate, we will re-negotiate the deal and delete all adverse clauses or even drop it,'' he said, while speaking at a debate on the deal in the Lok Sabha.

Saying that the deal was not ''unacceptable'' to the nation, Mr Advani asked the government to re-negotiate the deal in consonance with the assurances given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Parliament.

''There is no consensus on the deal. But still you are rushing into the deal. Think of ways of re-negotiating the deal,'' he said, adding that ''We can move forward only on the basis of broad national consensus.'' He said the deal was described by the US as a ''centre-piece'' of Indo-US strategic relationship. But, in effect, this relationship was of unequal partners.

''A country of a billion people cannot be a junior partner to any country, including the US and Russia. Ours is a proud nation which cannot be subservient or junior to any other country,'' he said, while pointing out that section 106 of the Hyde Act barred India from future nuclear tests and provided for punitive action, including the US' right to take back the reactors.

''Can any self respecting country allow another country to take back the reactors already supplied,'' he asked, and said ''former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and A B Vajpayee would never have done anything that would infringe on the sovereignty of the nation.'' In this context, Mr Advani said it was Ms Gandhi and Mr Vajpayee who had made the country proud by conducting nuclear tests Pokhran-I and II.

Mr Advani wanted to know from the government why it had backtracked from signing an agreement on supply of two additional reactors for Kudankulam, during Prime Minister Singh's recent visit to Russia.

Though India had officially announced that it could not sign the agreement because of Russia's insistence on India getting endorsement of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for the nuclear deal, it was reported by a leading newspaper that India had actually backtracked to highlight the inevitability of the nuclear deal with the United States.


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