New Delhi: Congress today targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over India’s failed NSG bid, calling it an “embarrassment” to the country and a “huge diplomatic letdown” by his government and questioned the “desperation” to gain membership of the elite nuclear club.
The main opposition party also demanded that the prime minister explain what went wrong, saying the government had raised “huge expectations.”
“The Prime Minister must explain what went wrong and what is his stand on Pakistan particularly and Pakistan’s record on nuclear non-proliferation,” former Union Minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters at the AICC briefing.
Chavan, who was Minister of State in the PMO in the Manmohan Singh government handling various charges including Atomic Energy, also sought to compare the situation in 2008 when the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) gave India a waiver and the present failed NSG bid. “It is same NSG, same situation, same countries, and NSG gave India a waiver!”
Maintaining that in 2008, nobody raised the issue of India’s NPT status and nobody put precondition about criterion, he claimed it was because of US’ support and India’s “strong diplomacy” that the country got the waiver.
“We are highly disappointed by the outcome of the NSG plenary at Seoul. Government had raised huge expectations.
There was last minute flurry of activity by Prime Minister himself, Foreign Minister & various delegations,” Chavan said.
He said the prime minister made personal pleas to China and other countries but “what is disappointing is that out of 48 countries….anywhere between 10-16 countries have not supported India’s cause.”
Chavan also said that the statement of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday that India has no objection to entry of Pakistan to NSG is “absolutely shocking”.
Speaking separately, senior party spokesman Anand Sharma came down hard on the government by terming the developments at the NSG meet as an “embarrassment” to India.
He said the prime minister needs to realise that diplomacy needs “depth and seriousness and not public tamasha”.
“We do not know why India showed its desperation and allowed the country to be equated with Pakistan on the issue of NSG membership,” Sharma said
“It’s high time that Prime Minister Narendra Modi realises that diplomacy requires gravitas, depth and seriousness. PM Modi needs to realise diplomacy needs depth not public tamasha,” he said.
“The world saw the PM make a spectacle of himself and India. Now India faces embarrassment unnecessarily,” Sharma added.