BJP for parliamentary approval for international agreements


New Delhi : Parliamentary approval should be made mandatory before the government signs any international agreement that concerns strategic programmes, territorial integrity and economic interests, the Bharatiya Janata Party has advocated.

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The Indo-US nuclear deal was done in “regrettable secrecy” by the Congress-led UPA, the BJP Friday said.

The party manifesto, released here Friday, said: “In view of the uncalled for and regrettable secrecy with which the Congress and the prime minister dealt with the India-US nuclear deal, the BJP proposes to introduce an amendment to the constitution to make it mandatory for government to seek parliament’s approval/ratification by two-thirds majority before signing any bilateral or multilateral agreement that impinges on India’s strategic programmes, territorial integrity and economic interest.”

It said the country needs nuclear energy, “but not at the cost of our national strategic interests. The Congress has fooled the people of India by selling the over-hyped India-US Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement as an absolute necessity and how it will help light up people’s homes.”

It said the UPA government had signed the deal by “suppressing two crucial facts”. First, the government “did not make the smallest effort to tap India’s own nuclear fuel supplies”, and second, nuclear power is “tremendously expensive and not affordable for the aam admi”, it said.

“The India-US nuclear deal, in the final analysis, is not about empowering India but disempowering India by making us dependent on American supplies and tying us to discriminatory regimes from which Pakistan is free.

“The BJP believes that India’s strategic nuclear programme has been deeply compromised by the Congress. The gains of Pokhran-II and subsequent development have been frittered away for gains that have accrued to those who wish to see India’s nuclear programme to be contained, rolled back and eventually dismantled.”

The BJP promised to “reverse this drift”.

It said India’s indigenous thorium technology programme will be expedited and given financial assistance, “correcting the grievous wrong done by the UPA government”.

It said if voted to power, the BJP will honour India’s commitments to prevent proliferation. “But it will pursue an independent nuclear policy based on the following:

1. All options will be kept open and all steps will be taken that are necessary for the

technological advancement of India’s civil and military nuclear programmes.

2. Maintain a credible minimum deterrent that is in tune with changing realities.

3. Seek cross-party consensus before agreeing to any control regime, including CTBT,