New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) The target of the latest WikiLeaks expose, the BJP Saturday dismissed reports it had adopted double standards in its opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal and demanded that every bit of the diplomatic cables relating to India should be probed.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on WikiLeaks revelations that the UPA bribed MPs to win the 2008 parliamentary trust vote, Saturday reacted strongly to the expose that its leaders spoke in two voices on India-US relations.
“There never were two stands of BJP on the nuclear deal. All BJP leaders followed one single official line, that was to oppose the bill. Even on the bill, it was the BJP’s stand that made the government accept 16 amendments to make it more stringent,” BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay told IANS.
He denied that the latest revelations were an embarrassment for the party which has launched a scathing attack on the government over the earlier WikiLeaks expose relating to the 2008 trust vote in parliament.
“We firmly demand an inquiry into every bit (of WikiLeaks expose) that has appeared. It is an embarrassment for the UPA and victory of BJP’s stand on cash-for-votes,” Vijay said.
Vijay refused to comment on the Dec 28 remarks of the party’s national executive member Seshadri Chari, cited in the WikiLeaks expose of cables sent by the US mission in Delhi, in which the BJP functionary has been quoted as telling a senior US official not to read too much into the party’s foreign policy resolution.
“I do not know who said what. The party never wavered from its official position on the nuclear bill,” Vijay said.
Asked about senior BJP leader L.K. Advani changing tack during his talk with another senior US official, Vijay said the party veteran was simply reiterating the old practice of continuity in governance.
The BJP was Saturday hit by the latest WikiLeaks expose of US diplomatic cables, published by ‘The Hindu’, which stated that the party leadership had told US diplomats that its criticism of the US in public was to score “easy political points” against the UPA.
Seshadri Chari figured in the diplomatic cables as having told an US embassy official in Delhi in December 2005 “not to read too much into the foreign policy resolution especially the parts relating to the US”.
The resolution accused the United Progressive Alliance government of being subservient to the US.
In another cable, the embassy’s then Charge d’affaires Peter Burleigh wrote after a meeting with Advani in May 2009, just before the Lok Sabha poll results were out, that the senior BJP leader downplayed any move by his party to re-examine the nuclear deal and noted that BJP “does not take international agreements lightly”.
The BJP leader’s view, the diplomat wrote, was that the government was a continuity, particularly in matters of foreign policy and international agreements cannot be taken lightly.