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PM dismisses Pokhran II speculations; asks BJP to settle down

PM Manmohan Singh said that what was happening in BJP was not good and felt the controversies over Kandahar and Pokhran-II were needless.

Apparently not wanting to wade into problems of BJP,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that what was happening in that party was not good and felt the controversies over Kandahar and Pokhran-II were needless.

In his first comments on the turmoil in BJP,he told reporters in Barmer that infighting in that party was “not good”. “It (infighting in BJP) is not good. In a democracy,stability in political parties is necessary. If there is instability,it will have an impact on the country,” he said when asked about the crisis in BJP.

Asked whether there was instability in BJP,Singh,who was in Ramsar,about 60 km from Barmer,to see progress of NREGA projects,said there should be stability in all parties.

To questions on the raging controversy over the Kandahar hijack episode arising out of differences among BJP leaders — L K Advani,Jaswant Singh,Yashwant Sinha besides former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra,he said,”what can I say about it. I was not there.”

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“It is not correct,” he said in reply to a question about the atmosphere created by the bad blood between the BJP leaders.

When specifically asked about BJP leaders insisting that Advani was present at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Jaswant Singh going to Kandahar in a plane with three terrorists,the Prime Minister said “I was not not there. Yaswant and Jaswant were there.”

On the controversy triggered by former DRDO scientist K Santhanam on Pokhran-II tests,Singh said,”a wrong impression has been given by some scientists which is needless.”

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The Prime Minister noted that the then Scientific Advisor A P J Abdul Kalam has stated in public that all the tests conducted in 1998 were successful.

“So there is nothing in this (Santhanam’s contention),” Singh said adding,”there is no need to create misgivings on this. We have full confidence in Dr Kalam,Dr Chidambaram and other scientists.”

Santhanam,the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) representative for the tests,had claimed that the thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb was of low yield and not the one that would meet the country’s strategic objectives. He said India needed to conduct more atomic tests and should not sign CTBT.

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On the drought situation,the Prime Minister said the situation was “serious” “It has affected prices but there is enough foodgrain stocks and efforts will be made to ensure that people below poverty line are not hit,” he said.

Singh said the government would increase the number of existing 100 working days,if needed,under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

First published on: 29-08-2009 at 02:38:38 pm
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