India will conduct future nuke test says Pranab

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New Delhi, Dec 5: The UPA Government on Dec 5 assured the Parliament that the country would go ahead in conducting a future nuclear test if the need arises due to the geo-political scenario. The Government also said that the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement would in no way affect country's strategic or foreign policy. While replying to a debate on the contentious nuclear deal in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said if India felt the necessity to conduct a nuclear test, it would do it.

However, he added that consequences would follow during such circumstances.

The Government also assured the House that it would take the sense of the Parliament on the bilateral nuke deal before operationalising it, and reiterated India's commitment to global nuclear disarmament.

"We have never said we will not take the sense of the House, let the process of operationalisation of the agreement be completed. We have begun the process and it is not complete yet," Mukherjee said.

However, the government's reply to the debate did not satisfy the opposition benches and the Left leaders as they staged a walkout from the House.

"I am not fully convinced. My opposition to the deal continues. Majority of the House does not agree with the deal," said CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, which was echoed by BJP's Jaswant Singh and leaders belonging to the newly created Third Front.

Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan told the Lok Sabha that the government is trying to achieve a political consensus on the nuclear deal.

''We are trying to get unanimity in the country and international clearance for the nuclear deal,'' he said, while replying to a question in the Lok Sabha.

Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Anil Kakodkar today expressed hope that the bilateral civil nuclear deal with the US would be materialised.

"I am hopeful," he told reporters outside the Parliament when asked to comment on whether the deal would get through.

ANI>

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