BJP should understand and support the nuke deal: Sibal

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Ahmedabad, Sep 28 (UNI) Criticising the BJP for its stand on the Indo-US nuclear agreement, Union Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal today said it should understand the importance of the pact and support it.

Addressing mediapersons here today Mr Sibal said it has been signed as the nuclear energy was an inevitable option and it was a myth that the agreement would bring only a marginal increase in our capacity to generate nuclear energy following the 123 pact.

He said India generates about 3 per cent of its power from nuclear energy out of a total generation of 1,30,000 MW from thermal, hydro-electric, fossil fuels and other non-conventional sources of energy.

In France nuclear energy accounts for 70 to 80 per cent, in Japan it is 50 per cent and in the US 20 per cent.

China is planning to set up 77 nuclear plants in the next 10 years at an investment of 50 million dollar, Mr Sibal said.

''Then how can we ignore all this,'' he asked adding that increasing the energy capacity is an inevitable option.

''Depending on oil is dangerous as the price would escalate beyond limit,'' the minister said.

Alleging the BJP was practicing double standards, he said the party opposed the Dunkel proposals which ushered in the WTO. When India approved the draft the BJP rejected it on grounds that it would have negative impact on the country's economy and national sovereignty.

However the same BJP-led NDA government passed the 1999 and 2002 amendments to the Patents Bill and was instrumental in preparing the draft of the Patents (Amendment) Bill, 2003. Showing political opportunism it then opposed Patents Amendment Bill 2005, Mr Sibal alleged.

To a question he said the government will convince the Left without compromising the national interest.

UNI

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