UPA compromising India's deterrent building capacity: BJP

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New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) The BJP today charged the UPA government with compromising the country's deterrent building capacity, alleging that it was "more into Indo-US deal making than deterrent building".

The party based its allegations on the allocations made in the budget 2008-09 for Atomic Energy Department, in which allocation was reduced by 529 million dollar "without any explanation".

It also cited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister of Narasimha Rao Government during 1991-95 having reduced allocations to nuclear programme.

The party was apparently peeved over the manner in which the Manmohan Singh Government downplayed the 10th anniversary of Pokhran II on May 11, an event which had "not only demonstrated the accomplishments of our brilliant nuclear scientists but in one stroke brought India in the big league of world affairs".

Addressing newspersons, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that the Government adopted this stance only because the Pokhran II was conducted during the NDA regime when Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.

Defending their charge that the present government was not interested in improving Nuclear Deterrent building capacity, Mr Prasad said while China had more than 100 ICBM (Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles), India's programme "is not even on the drawing board", adding that in fact the ICBM programme had been shelved "under pressure from US".

Besides, the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme which was started 25 years ago, had been closed this year, he said.

He sought to chide Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi by alleging that they were not "comfortable" with the legacy of Ms Indira Gandhi, credited with India's first nuclear test in 1974 on this very day.

The Party said the Congress, however, did not want to appreciate Mr Vajpayee's "leadership of courage" who as Prime Minister had withstood the sanctions imposed by several countries after Pokhran II Test. Almost the entire world imposed sanctions but India withstood it without submitting to discriminatory non-proliferation regime, he said.

He accused Mr Singh of having been an opponent of Pokhran II all along, and who had warned against the test. He said that Mr Singh had cautioned that the test would cripple Indian economy but time proved him "hopelessly incorrect", claiming that the economy in fact had progressed very well and country had multiplied its foreign exchange five times in seven years.

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