Let not fear guide us, Rahul tells MPs (Lead)

July 22nd, 2008 - 7:21 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Tuesday urged the members of parliament not to allow fear to lead them as he said energy security was vital in eradicating poverty from India. Participating in the debate over the trust motion moved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi said nuclear energy was essential to make a country a leading world power.

In his brief speech, which was frequently interrupted in the beginning, leading to an abrupt adjournment, Rahul exuded confidence and chose to respond to every heckle from the opposition side.

Although the speech began on a not-so-inspiring note, the Amethi MP picked up momentum in the afternoon session and did an impressive performance, which was listened to by the house in a pin-drop silence.

“Never ever let fear guide our actions. Only act on courage,” he said in a veiled reference to his estranged communist allies’ apprehension that the India-US civil nuclear deal would make India a junior partner to the US.

“Instead of worrying how the world will impact on us, we will have to think how we are are going to impact the world,” he said, adding: “We have to believe in our people and in what they do. We have to have the courage to act with confidence.”

Gandhi said India needed to think like a “big and powerful country” and only worry how it will impact the world.

Pointing out that the country’s nuclear industry was in crisis he said: “The hands of scientists, the hands of our establishments are tied. They are tied because they do not have fuel on one hand and on the hand they do not have investment and technology.”

Gandhi, who has publicly announced 100 percent support for the prime minister and the contentious nuclear deal, praised Manmohan Singh for recognising “both the problem and the potential solution” to India’s energy crunch.

“The prime minister has shown tremendous courage. The magic of what Manmohan Singhji is doing is that out of the problem (of energy security), he has identified an opportunity,” Gandhi said.

As if to pick up a political point from the opposition, he said: “It would be unfair of me not to accept that Vajpayee also saw the problem and also in his time worked on the solution,” he said, and urged the opposition to “applaud at least on this.”

According to Rahul Gandhi, all the world powers - be it Britain or the US - had grown into prominence because they had control over the energy sources - with Britain it was coal and the US had control over the hydrocarbon power.

Pointing out that China and India woudld be consumers of the largest bulk of energy, he said. “China and India can define the way energy moves.”

“It does not matter which party is in power, we have to think how we can position ourselves in the world… we have to solve our problems together,” Gandhi said.

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