N-deal in nation’s interest, Left should back it: Paswan (Lead)

July 16th, 2008 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi/Patna, July 16 (IANS) Underlining that the India-US nuclear deal was in national interest, Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Wednesday called upon the Left parties to support it. “India’s civil nuclear cooperation is not with the US alone but 45 countries. The deal is in the nation’s interests, and the Left parties should reconsider their decision and support the deal,” Paswan told reporters on the margins of a function here.

He was referring to the India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that would open doors of global nuclear commerce for the country.

Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has four members in the Lok Sabha and is part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

“India needs the nuclear deal,” Paswan told reporters after addressing an annual steel industry conclave of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), a leading industry lobby.

Earlier, Paswan said in Patna that the nuclear deal was “essential for the development of the country”.

Without naming any political outfit opposing the deal, the minister said: “It is baseless to say that India will become a slave of the US after the nuclear deal.”

Paswan, who addressed a series of meetings in Bihar in the past two days, reiterated in Patna that the UPA government would win the July 22 trust vote with the support of “old and new allies”.

He said that the nuclear deal would pave the way for electricity in every household across the country, similar to the cell phone revolution.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, reduced to a minority after the Left parties withdrew support over India’s nuclear deal with the US, will seek the trust of the house during the special session of the Lok Sabha July 21-22.

Exuding confidence that the government would prove majority in the house, Paswan wondered how the Left parties were on the same cart along with the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“We will have both the government and the deal. India needs energy, and the deal promises to make the country energy efficient.”

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