Nuke deal should have been debated widely: Joshi

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Chennai, Jul 9 (UNI) Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today pointed out that his party was opposed to the nuke deal not because it was with the United States but only because it was not in the interest of the country as it infringed on independent foreign policy and was binding on us for 40 years.'' Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Dr Joshi charged that the Left was opposed to the deal only because it was with the United States and President George Bush.

''We are opposed to the deal because it is harmful. The disadvantage for India is that the US can opt out of it under the Hyde Act and the deal does not give India independent nuclear state status,'' he claimed.

About the impending confidence vote, he said the President was ''dutybound'' to ask the Prime Minister to seek the confidence vote as the Left parties have withdrawn support to the UPA government.

The Prime Minister must seek the confidence vote at the earliest, he added.

Alleging that the deal was not debated in the country to the extent necessary, Dr Joshi said a Bill should have been introduced to make public the provisions on which the deal could be signed.

''We do not know why this was not done. It is a simple law laying down the terms to sign the deal,'' he observed.

''The Prime Minister says that he would go to the IAEA after proving the UPA's majority in Parliament. However, that does not give him the right to bind the country with this deal which runs for 40 years,'' Dr Joshi alleged.

''I do not want to comment on great leaders like Amar Singh,'' Dr Joshi quipped when asked about Samajwadi Party General Secretary's statement criticising the BJP that communalism was more dangerous than the nuke deal and that Mr Advani was more dangerous than Mr Bush.

Stating that the UPA government must go, he said the vote of confidence against it must not be confined to the nuke deal alone but also address issues like price rise, mismanagement of food situation and the economy of the country and the failure in dealing the situation in Kashmir in the Amarnath land deal issue.

UNI VV SJ GL RN1847

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