BJP Against Any 'Changes' in Nuclear Liability Bill

New Delhi
BJP Against Any 'Changes' in Nuclear Liability Bill
The BJP today said it will not support any clandestine "changes" in the nuclear liability bill, an issue raised by the US citing concerns among its industry members over the current legislation.

"It is a law passed by Parliament (in the Monsoon session). Parliament is supreme. The government cannot suddenly change anything surreptitiously without coming before Parliament," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar told reporters replying to a question on the issue.

He said the main opposition party's fight with the government was over the word 'And', apart from the intent clause which "the government changed after BJP pursued the matter".

Earlier in the day, the US State Department had said it will look to India to see what "changes" can be made to the nuclear liability bill just passed by Parliament in the wake of concerns over making suppliers of equipment also liable in the event of a nuclear accident.

"We continue our discussions with the Indian government on this issue and we note that Indian business leaders are concerned about some specific aspects of the law that was just passed by the Parliament," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said in the first reaction by the Obama Administration to some controversial provisions in the bill.

Asked about the sudden tie-up in Jharkhand between BJP and JMM that has led to the former staking claim to form a government, Javdekar simply said "let us wait for the swearing-in ceremony."

Asked about the issue of the Centre likely taking a decision soon on bringing amendments to the much-criticised Armed Forces Special Powers Act and its phased withdrawal from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP said the government should not dilute AFSPA or grant autonomy to the state as it would demoralise the security forces.

Asked for his comments on the Supreme Court verdict upholding the land acquisition policy of the Uttar Pradesh government for development of projects alongside the Yamuna Expressway connecting the national capital with Agra, the BJP leader said he would first see the copy of the order before making any statement.
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