Director of Central Intelligence
FOP REIEUSE DAT!1
Nuclear Test Puts BJP on Defcnslvel
Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee In the sliort term will take heat from the political opposition, but in the long run tlie Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may be able lo strengthen its hold on power. News of the Pakistani (est threw the Indian Parliament's lower house into turmoil, with opposition members stridently criticizing Ihe BJP-led government for provoking an arms race.
Opponents on Wednesday dubbed Vajpayee "aiom bomb" and questioned whether New Delhi's tests ensure India's self-defense.
Hawkish Home Minister Advani called Islamabad's nuclear policy "Kashmir specific" and claimed New Delhi tested in pari lo counter Pakistan's "proxy war" therc^
Vajpayee yesterday called for "national unity" against an "external aggressor" in the wake of Pakistan's nuclear lest. After an emergency cabinet meeting, he told journalists that the blasts justifiedwn tests and that he willeport on the Pakistani test today to Parliament. Vajpayee hinted that India may end Us self-proclaimed moratorium on nuclear testing, saying the 'newolicy revi
Indian press reportsegional party lhat contributes seven members to the coalition govemmeni yesterday suspended its support, citing disgronUement over local matters. If other coalition allies follow still, the BJP couldnap election lo gain an absolute majority.
The time and money required to mount such an election and
earlier campaign promises to avoid frequent votes will make ihe BJP hesitant to call the election unless it must.
severe disarray in other parties arguestrung challenge to the BJP in the coming month