N-Deal compromises strategic autonomy of India: BJP

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (UNI) The BJP today stated it had fundamental objections to the Indo-US nuclear deal, as it did not accord recognition to India as a Nuclear Weapons State and the draft sent by the Government for the ratification of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had compromised the nation's strategic autonomy.

In his preliminary reaction to the draft sent to the IAEA by the Manmohan Singh Government, BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad said that India's draft on the safeguards agreement, circulated among the 25 members of the IAEA Governing Board, was seeking to treat India as a routine non-nuclear state, without giving it any weightage.

He added the draft also did not recognise India's nuclear military programme, while the Prime Minister in his statement, in March 2008, had assured Parliament that the deal could take place only if India's fuel supply could occur in perpetuity. However, the deal does not mention anything about ensuring the uninterrupted fuel supply, but says that India could take 'corrective steps' in the event of the fuel supply being affected. It was, however, silent on what 'corrective steps' the country could take, he said.

In the event of India conducting nuclear tests, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) could stop the fuel supply and ask back the equipment, worth billions, supplied to the country. ''Can a Government think of taking the country towards such a disaster,'' he added.

The IAEA inspections, that follow the violation of the deal, would be both extensive and intrusive.

The nuclear power accounted only to a mere 2.7 per cent of the total national energy generation and it would be in the range of just five per cent after 20 years. India would be committing nearly 20 billion dollars on equipment and fuel supplies and it would be a huge risk, if the country were to accept the deal in its present form, he said.

The party, however, would be coming out with a formal and structured response, the BJP spokesperson added.

He said the IAEA was on record that the documents were accepted on India's request, while the External Affairs Minister had stated that the process of approaching the IAEA would be after facing the vote of confidence in Parliament.


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