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Dec 06, 2011 at 07:19pm IST

Narasimha Rao first asked to prepare for nuke tests: Kalam

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 subsequently 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 earliest.

Rao first asked to prepare for nuke tests: Kalam

In 1995, PV Narasimha Rao had decided to carry out the tests, but the then US president Bill Clinton stopped him.

"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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