Hope country has noted Kalam's endorsement of nuke deal: PM

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New Delhi, May 10 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed the hope that the country would take note of former President A P J Abdul Kalam's endorsement of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Describing Dr Kalam as a distinguished scientist, Dr Singh told reporters after the Padma Awards function at Rashtrapati Bhavan that the former President was intimately associated with the Pokhran nuclear test.

''I hope the country listens to him,'' the Prime Minister said, responding to clarifications sought by the media. He replied in the negative to a question whether he was indirectly referring to the Left.

Asked about the exchange of fire on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, he said India had to be alert as there have been attempts of infiltration. At the same time, he expressed the hope that the Pakistani authorities would maintain peace and tranquility on the border.

He refused to comment on Human Resource Development Minister and Congress leader Arujun Singh's remark that the party lacked a transparent decision making process, but said Mr Arjun Singh was great leader of the party.

He sought to make light of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's statement that the Centre had failed to perform and was unable to check inflation, stating that these were expected in politics, particularly when elections were round the corner.

UNI SN RR RAI2002

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