Future generations will recognise value of n-deal: Sonia (Lead)

July 17th, 2008 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Nellore (Andhra Pradesh), July 17 (IANS) The India-US nuclear deal was in the nation’s interest and the government would not compromise on it, a combative Congress chief Sonia Gandhi asserted Thursday in her first public remarks after the Left withdrew support to the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA). “We will not compromise on the nuclear deal because it is in the national interest. We need latest nuclear technology and fuel power from other countries,” Gandhi said at a crowded rally in this Andhra Pradesh town, about 500 km from the state capital Hyderabad.

With only five days to go before the Congress-led government faces the crucial trust vote in parliament, Gandhi also asserted that the ruling coalition “was not compromising on our national security and foreign policy”.

In a strong defence of the much discussed deal and of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gandhi added: “The nuclear agreement is in the best interest of the country. Future generations will recognise the value of this nuclear agreement and what the prime minister is doing today.”

She hit out at the Left and the opposition for their criticism on the deal and said the Congress did not need a certificate from anyone on patriotism and national interests.

“Which party gave India the independence and an independent foreign policy? It is the Congress party and no other party. It is the Congress party which launched and strengthened the nuclear programme. We need the support of other parties but we don’t need a certificate from any party on our patriotism and national interests,” she said.

She was launching the Rajiv Arogyashri, the second phase of a health insurance scheme for the poor named after her late husband Rajiv Gandhi.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government was reduced to a minority last week after the Left parties pulled out following differences over the nuclear deal. The government faces a trust vote in parliament July 22.

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