New Delhi, Jul 5 (UNI) Reaffirming his party's opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal in its present form, BJP prime ministerial candidate L K Advani today said the BJP would renegotiate and make it ''a deal among equals'' which did not impose any restrictions on nuclear testing by India, if it came to power.
Addressing a news conference here, Leader of the Opposition L K Advani said his party favoured India having ''strategic relations'' with the United States, as they were the two major democracies of the world. The relationship between the two countries has to be much more than ''friendly''.
However, the deal, negotiated under the 123 Agreement, presently, was one between ''two unequals'' and the NDA would attempt to make it ''a deal among equals'', if voted to power, in the coming elections, he said.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Jaswant Singh, who was also present, regretted the decision of the parties of the UNPA to make the suggestion of former President Abdul Kalam to support the deal a public debate. Dr Kalam had made similar suggestions to Mr Advani and Arun Shourie. The BJP had discussed his suggestions with all seriousness and decided to keep silent on the issue, he added.
The issue of nuclear equipment and fissile material reprocessing was very complex and it would have been better, if Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh did not make the debate a public issue.
UNI MCN SBC AS1437