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Yashwant questions wisdom of calling minority leaders

Written by: Staff
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Patna, Mar 5 (UNI) Expressing surprise over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to 'call' a meeting of minority community leaders for explaining the Indo-US nuclear deal, former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha today accused him of 'communalising' the issue.

Arguing that the nuclear deal was heavily tilted in favour of the US, Mr Sinha wondered whether Dr Singh would call all other minority communities if deals were struck with other foreign countries in future.

''It was not only a matter of surprise for me but Dr Singh's demeanour was also highly objectionable,'' Mr Singh told newspersons at local Sinha Library.

The former external affairs minister said the deal did not merit any appreciation as it negated the basic principles of reciprocity and parity. According to the fact, 14 out of total 22 Indian's nuclear reactors would be put under perpetual safeguards, he said.

He said that reactors had a fixed lifetime, but the perpetual safeguards would even cover spent nuclear fuel despite closure of any nuclear reactor.

Mr Sinha said the Prime Minister was speaking only 'half truth's and claimed that perpetual safegurds snatched away the prerogative of the country to classify any civilan nuclear reactor as a military one.

He said the Indo-US nuclear deal in fact had 'capped' the nuclear capability of the country and the country would face pressure to classify a nucear reactor as a civilian one despite being built up with indigenous technology.

Clarifying that his views on the Indo-US nuclear deal was in his personal capacity and not on behalf of BJP. Mr Sinha said that the nuclear deal would be completed only after it was ratified by the US Congress, the 45-nation Nuclear Supplier Group and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

He said complete secrecy was maintained before the Indo-US nuclear deal was struck commenting that it was perhaps for the first time that any Prime Minister had clearly 'disregarded' the 'national consensus' on the subject.

He said that Dr Singh should accept all the blame for the 'wrongful' deal as he was also holding the portfolio of External Affairs Ministry.

''It was completely wrong to say that India got the status of a nuclear state following the deal,'' Mr Sinha remarked, adding that even Australia had clarified that it would not supply nuclear fuel to India till the latter signed Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

UNI/DH BA YA RK2214

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