Rao first asked to prepare for nuke tests: Kalam

Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam revealed that former PM PV Narasimha Rao had asked him to make preparations for nuclear tests.

Nagpur: Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on Tuesday revealed that former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had asked him to make preparations for nuclear tests,
which were subseuqently conducted (at Pokhran) during the NDA
government, headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Kalam was addressing the probationers at the National
Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT) here.

The former President said that in May 1996, he had
received a call from Narasimha Rao asking to meet him at the

"When I met Rao, he asked me to proceed with the
preparation for testing of the nuclear bomb. Subsequently, his
(Congress) government lost power and when Vajpayee took over,
Rao revealed the plans to him (Vajpayee). He also asked me to
share the details with Vajpayee," Kalam said adding, "Later in
May 1998, India conducted nuclear tests."
Kalam added that both the leaders had great courage
to go ahead with the plan.

In 1995, Rao had decided to carry out the nuclear
tests, the plans that were reportedly halted after American
satellites picked up signs of preparations for testing at
Pokhran. It was said that the then American President Bill
Clinton exerted pressure on Rao to stop the preparations.
Finally, on 11 and 13 May 1998, during Vajpayee`s
tenure as the Prime Minister, India conducted the tests.


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