Indo-US relations should not hinge on Nuclear Deal: BJP

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New Delhi, Jun 2 (UNI) Charging the UPA Government with not having consulted political parties on the sensitive Indo-US nuclear deal issue, the BJP today categorically stated that the Indo-US relations were "vitally important" but should not be reduced to a single issue of nuclear cooperation.

The party in its Foreign Policy resolution adopted at its two-day National Executive meeting here, questioned the Manmohan Singh Government for going in haste and 'desperation' over the controversial deal. ''Desperation is not any alternative to policy,'' he cautioned.

Asserting that the BJP would not accept the loss or diminution of the country's strategic autonomy, implicit in terms and conditions that accompany India's so called 'nuclear liberation', the resolution maintained that it was against the present form of the deal and must be renegotiated. ''It will take away our rights to conduct nuclear tests,'' former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh told newspersons while elaborating on the resolution adopted last night.

He said while India conducted nuclear tests in 1998, it was not bound by any bilateral or any other agreement. But once it signed the Indo-US agreement in the present form, it would put a ban over nuclear testing. ''The bilateral agreement will lead to multilateral repurcussions ...'' he said.

The senior BJP leader charged the UPA government with misleading the nation over the July 2005 joint statement issued by the two countries by claiming that the nuclear deal was a panacea to India's economic and technological modernization and all other foreign policy goals (and relationships) must subserve the successful culmination of this nuclear deal.

Similarly, the resolution also decried the 'unprofessional' manner in which the UPA Government tried to secure a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council, saying it put up a candidate for the Secretary-General post as if it was "reserved for a Congress party nominee". The Government, he said, had to eat humble pie when it was compelled to withdraw him.

On Indo-Russia relations, the BJP charged the UPA Government with allowing the relations between the two strategic partners to 'stagnate', alleging the UPA's policy was uni-directional. It cautioned the Government against 'permitting' the relations between India and Russia to drift, while fully knowing that the two countries had identical views on economic, geo-political and ecological issues.

UNI KAS/MCN PK BD1523

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