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Deve Gowda cites 3 reasons why he said no to nuclear tests in 1997

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Dec 08: Back in 1997, when Indian scientists had fixed a date to conduct nuclear tests, then Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had asked them to wait.

Gowda in an interview published in his soon to be published biography, Furrows in a Field had cited three reasons for not giving the go ahead. They were US pressure to sign the CTBT, despite to improve relations with Pakistan and the economic situation.

Deve Gowda cites 3 reasons why he said to nuclear tests in 1997

There is a lot of pressure on me with regard to the CTBT. I am also trying to improve relationships with all our neighbours, including Pakistan. The tests will throw everything we are doing out of gear. Plus, we need some more time to stabilise the economic situation. I am not afraid of sanctions but I need time, Gowda said.

They told me how this would demonstrate to the world that India was powerful. I said that I was aware of this and I am not against the tests. I had to get my priorities right and they had to given a year's time, he told the biographer.

The nuclear tests Pokhran-II were finally conducted in May 1998 after Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Prime Minister. To this Gowda said that Atal Bihar Vajpayee knew the political uncertainty between him and J Jayalalithaa. He converted the tests into a nationalist slogan which was unfortunate.

That day when Pakistan conducted the nuclear test five crore Pakistanis and 90 crore Indians had been equated and India lost its strategic advantage.

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