New Delhi, Feb. 17: The fact of the Congress having more in common with the BJP on foreign policy than with its Left allies came out in the open in Parliament today when the Prime Minister mounted the government’s defence for voting against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
BJP parliamentary party spokesman V.K. Malhotra grudgingly supported Manmohan Singh’s argument in which he linked Iran’s nuclear programme to Pakistan to counter the Left’s charge that the government had bowed to US pressure.
“We do not have major differences with the arguments the Prime Minister gave. But we have to say that the government botched it up so completely that it seemed as if we voted in IAEA under US pressure,” Malhotra said.
The BJP also came to the government’s aid when the Left and the Samajwadi Party insisted on a debate even if the Prime Minister could not be present in the House on Monday when the French President is in town.
Jaswant Singh, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, intervened to say: “The Prime Minister’s presence is absolutely essential on an issue of this nature.”