Free Press Journal

Opposition parties slam Modi over India not getting NSG membership


narendra modiIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a speech after a meeting with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha in New Delhi on June 17, 2016. The Thai prime minister is on an official visit to India. / AFP PHOTO / Prakash SINGH

New Delhi: Opposition parties on Friday slammed the Narendra Modi government over its approach to securing Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership for India, saying that its desperation had caused an embarrassment to the country and it failed on the foreign policy front.

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy has “completely failed” and he needs to explain what he does on his “foreign jaunts”.

“PM Modi has completely failed on foreign policy front. He owes explanation on what did he do on his foreign jaunts,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Kejriwal’s remarks came as India’s attempts to get membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group did not succeed with China persistently raising procedural hurdles.

India’s application for NSG membership was taken up at the 48-nation bloc’s special session in Seoul on Thursday.

Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Prakash Karat said membership of NSG was not of substantial benefit to India.

“India has decided to ally with US and thinks that US can help them get into NSG. This is a flawed assumption and wrong calculation. In any case, the membership to NSG is not going to be of any substantial benefit to India,” Karat told IANS.

Congress leader Anand Sharma accused the government of not carrying out diplomacy with required discretion.

“We have never seen diplomacy being conducted in this manner, making it very clear whom you are lobbying with and whom you are petitioning with,” Sharma said.

“It is an embarrassment for India to do what was not required. This kind of intense lobbying by Prime Minister Modi and his government, we can understand, should have been done for UN Security Council membership,” Sharma said insisting, there was no need to show desperation that led to India being equated with Pakistan on the issue of NSG membership.

“Why did the Prime Minister and this government make so much of noise about it and kind of hectic campaigning and lobbying for it,” he asked.

Sharma said NSG had given India-specific waiver in 2008 which allowed India’s integration with the nuclear mainstream after decades of isolation.

That agreement, Sharma said, paved the way for India to enter into agreement with the US. He added that India-specific IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) agreement allowed India to also trade with NSG countries.

“NSG countries can sell reactors to India and India can do the same. So there was no need of this desperation on NSG issue,” Sharma said.

He added that NSG membership would not have brought any drastic change to India’s nuclear trade.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia said Modi should explain why India did not get the NSG membership.

“For its defeat on the NSG issue, shouldn’t the PMO be questioned which is only focused on weakening state governments? Is there anyone to question or is everyone busy?”

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