Left reacts sharply to Sonia's remarks on nuke deal

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) The Left parties today reacted sharply to Congress President Sonia Gandhi's criticism of the opponents of the Indo-US nuclear deal, saying those who advocate the pact should know that India was capable of developing nuclear energy primarily on a self-reliant basis.

''The Left parties categorically reiterate that the nuclear deal with the US is against the interests of India,'' top leaders of the four Left parties said in a joint statement here.

The brief statement was signed by CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan, RSP Secretary Abani Roy and All India Forward Bloc General Secretary Debabrata Biswas.

It came a day after Ms Gandhi, addressing a rally in Jhajjar District of Haryana, made a veiled attack on the Left parties, describing the opponents of the agreement as ''enemies of progress and development''.

''Those who advocate the deal should know that India is capable of developing nuclear energy primarily on a self-reliant basis. We need not surrender our vital interests to America on this plea,'' the statement said.

The Left parties' joint statement assumes significance, coming as it does a day ahead of the meeting of the UPA-Left panel on the nuclear deal.

UNI

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