No double standards on US N-deal, says BJP

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2011 Published on March 19, 2011

The BJP has denied any double standards in its opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal and has claimed that because of its strong stand on the issue, the Government was forced to come up with over a dozen amendments to the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill.

This was in response to the WikiLeaks expose published in The Hindu, where US diplomatic cables stated that the BJP leadership had told US Embassy staffers that its criticism of the US in public was to score “easy political points” against the ruling UPA and that if it came to power, the Party would not review the nuclear deal.

Reacting to the leaked cables, the BJP spokesman, Mr Prakash Javadekar, claimed that there were “no contradictions” in their stand on the nuclear deal.

“We have made our position clear both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and through press statements that we value strategic relations with the US and that all sources of energy should be tapped,” he said.

But, when the Government brought the Nuclear Liability Bill, the Party raised certain objections and the Government had to make 16 amendments to the Bill at its insistence, he said. “We keep national interest foremost...there is no double speak,” Mr Javadekar asserted.

The expose drew a strong response from the ruling Congress Party, which asked the BJP to apply to itself the same standards it had adopted for the Government on the contents of the cables. The Congress spokesperson, Mr Manish Tewari, said the BJP had made WikiLeaks “the Holy Grail of their political philosophy”.

“Now the shoe is on the other foot, it is for the BJP to explain to the nation whether it will apply same standards to itself as it attempted to apply to the Government by needlessly disrupting Parliament for the last few days,” he said.

Published on March 19, 2011
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