Monday, July 21, 2008

Advani clarified like a crystal in the vote of confidence

Advani was at his best when he spoke in the vote of confidence. Despite CNN IBN's unrelenting bias and criticism of the BJP and Advani, other news channels gave a good analysis. Personally, I felt he clarified so nicely that there was no doubt or suspicion. He also intentionally spoke in English because the US was particularly waiting to watch why BJP was opposing the deal. He tended to be a little tame and not sharp as he wanted people to know it is the Left which is responsible for destablizing the country and not BJP/NDA.

We are not against nuclear energy. Very often it is being projected that we are against the Nuclear Deal. We are not. We are not against our very close relationship with America. I think that a country like India which is the largest democracy in the world, should have a very close relationship with the strongest democracy of the world, that is America. But we would never like India to become party to an Agreement which is unequal. My charge is that this particular Deal makes us subservient partner in the Deal. Very often, the Government spokesmen have been saying that the Hyde Act does not apply to us and immediately an American spokesman comes out with a statement that it fully applies. The Hyde Act imposes curbs even on our foreign policy. In fact, on the very first occasion I said that the Constitution of India does not provide that an international agreement should be approved by Parliament as in many
countries this practice is there. Here we do not have such a provision.

I am of the view-if the Government agrees-that the Constitution be amended so that in certain cases relating to security and integrity of the country, the Parliament’s approval must be sought before entering into a Deal. We have all along maintained that if the people of the country vote NDA again to power, we will renegotiate this Deal to make it a Treaty between equals so that there are no constraints on our strategic options and autonomy.

This Government was formed only when the Left supported it from outside and the moment they withdrew support, this Government has been reduced to a minority and a minority Government has no right to move ahead with any international agreement until it first proves its majority. By this deal, the biggest advantage America gets is that India would be a part of the Nonproliferation
regime and perhaps Dr. Manmohan Singh has no objection to it. When the Vajpayee Government had its Pokhran II, Dr. Manmohan Singh criticized us. These days, this Government’s performance on the Aam aadmi’s front, like ‘kimtein’, ‘bijli’, ‘sadak’ and ‘paani’ has been dismal. Then even after this deal is done, executed and implemented, the total amount of nuclear energy available to India, would be just 6 per cent and the remaining 94 per cent has to come from other sources. So, let us not try to delude the Indian people by saying that we are trying to give energy security to the country by this deal. We do not agree with is. The Common Minimum Programme says that they will provide electricity for all within five years. Four years and two months are completed and there are 7.8 crore unelectrified households. On all fronts, the performance of this government is very poor. The biggest achievement of the NDA regime, in fact, I would say that it was ‘sadak’. The highways, the ‘gram sadak yojana’ and the Golden Quadrilateral were the most significant achievements of our Government. This Government is not able to fix the problems of the common man. Only a few months back, Loan waiver and loan relief were announced.

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