The Polit Bureau statement on the Agni Missile Test

The successful test of Agni-II marks an important stage in the development of intermediate range ballistic missiles by India. The CPI(M) has been advocating the development of India’s independent missile technology without succumbing to US pressures against it.

However, the development of the Agni missile is being linked by the Vajpayee government with its declared policy of nuclear weaponisation. Such a linkage will result in escalation of the nuclear arms race with Pakistan which is bound to respond in a similar manner. Developing our independent missile and nuclear technology without resorting to nuclear weaponisation was the policy which was being followed prior to the BJP-led government’s decision to break with that stand and go in for an adventurist policy. It is essential that the old policy be restored.

The Vajpayee government which faces the imminent threat of its downfall is desperately trying to project the Agni test launch as a new achievement divorced from the continuing and substantial work put in over a period of time. It also seeks to shortsightedly project it as an aggressive step forward after the Pokhran tests. This is unwarranted and nothing but political posturing.