BJP running a false campaign on nuclear deal, says Congress

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Shimla, Dec 18 (UNI) Union Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma today accused BJP leader L K Advani of running a false campaign on nuclear deal and unnecessarily blaming the UPA Government for mortgaging the country's interests to the US.

''The BJP's prime ministerial candidate is having a selective relapse of memory and propagating that India will lose the right for any kind of nuclear explosions, which is totally incorrect,'' he said while addressing a press conference here.

Mr Sharma said there was not even a reference of banning detonation in the agreement, adding that agreement was clear that the country could retain the option for nuclear weaponisation including detonation of nuclear devices.

He said it was a conscious decision taken after involving senior diplomats and atomic energy specialists.

''It is a great travesty of truth that the BJP which had gone for detonation in less than 50 days of their assuming power wants the credit in making India a nuclear power.'' But it was the painstaking effort from the days of Homi Jahangir Bhabha and Jawaharlal Nehru, the architects of modern India, that the country was striving for a nuclear status after proving its intentions during Pokhran-I, way back in 1974, Mr Sharma said.

Calling the Congress no less nationalist, patriotic and committed than the BJP he said, it was an agreement between two sovereign nations and India's return to the global mainstream.

''It is a chance to end the nuclear apartheid against us,'' he added.

In a strongly worded statement he attacked Mr. Advani who addressed a series of public meetings in the hill state for ''misleading'' the voters of Himachal.

The BJP leader should have the courage to retract the false proclamations and accept the truth, he said While criticising the Left as well for its stance on the deal, he said the government had always taken it into confidence.

''Generations to come will not spare them if they try to obstruct such a benevolent and nation-friendly covenant which is giving us a chance to produce power for an energy deficit society,'' he said.

He reminded his Left allies that national interests cannot be held hostages to the ideological dogmas.

Mr. Sharma has vigorously campaigned for his party in the assembly elections this time and has expressed confidence about massive victory of Congress.

UNI

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