Indo-US nuclear deal is for nuclear energy: Basu

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Kolkata, Sep 21: Days after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee pitched for nuclear power, veteran CPI-M leader Jyoti Basu on Saturday echoed him by saying that the Indo-US nuclear deal was for atomic energy and hoped that the stand-off between the Left and the UPA government on the issue would ease.

"The Indo-US nuclear deal is for nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is necessary and there is a need for nuclear power plants. With new industries mushrooming, the demand for power will increase," Basu told reporters after the party's state secretariat meeting in Kolkata.

He also expressed hope that the conflict between Left parties and the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal would ease after the CPI-M's politburo and central committee meetings in Kolkata.

"CPI-M's Politburo and Central Committee would meet in Kolkata from September 28 to October 1, which will be followed by a joint meeting of the UPA-Left committee on the nuclear deal. There could be some easing off of the situation," he said.

He said problems have developed between the CPI-M and the UPA because the Common Minimum Programme was not being adhered to.

Asked whether he was for indigenous reactors or for foreign ones, Basu replied, "I'm not a technical person. I don't know which technology is appropriate." He said during his tenure as chief minister there was a proposal for setting up a nuclear power plant at Sagar in South 24 Parganas district. "The Centre had told that nuclear power plants could not be set up at places where coal is available."


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