New Delhi: Political luring behind the curtains was at its height during the Indo-US nuclear deal. The US government helped the Centre cajole the Opposition to agree to the nuke deal.

In order to coax the main Opposition party BJP, many official and non-official tea parties, lunch and dinner were arranged to facilitate more discussion on the nuke issue. Though there were internal differences within the party on the nuclear agreement, it was later sorted out. All the BJP members adopted one line stance.

During the regime of UPA-I government, BJP had opposed the Nuclear Bill. BJP, however, gave its nod to the proposed Nuclear Amendment Bill after laying down its conditions which were accepted by the UPA II government.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his ministers and National Security Advisor had several consultations with the BJP leaders on the Bill. The US also left no stone unturned to garner BJP’s votes for the nuke deal. David Malford, the then American ambassador in India, as well as other American officials held several meetings with BJP leaders.

However, it is true that the BJP itself was divided on the nuclear issue. Brajesh Mishra, the National Security Advisor in the NDA government, had major differences with BJP, which was solved by the sidelining of Mishra and BJP adopted a clear line on the Indo-American nuke deal. 

America knew it well that without the approval of BJP, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would not be able to pass the Nuclear Bill. So, the US government tried its best to lure BJP.

JPN/ Bureau


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