Punjab Cong asks Badal to convince BJP on US nuclear deal

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Chandigarh, Oct 19 (UNI) Supporting the Indo-US nuclear agreement, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) has urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to convince the BJP, his alliance partner at the national level, to see logic and support the UPA government on the nuke deal.

PPCC member and MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira on behalf of the state Congress chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal said Punjab being one of the most progressive states would benefit the most from the nuclear deal.

''Mr Badal should reason with the BJP, which is out to destabilise the UPA government to capture power without honestly measuring the merits and demerits of the nuclear deal,'' he said at a press conference here.

Mr Khaira pointed out that Punjab was generating 6000 MW of power while the demand was more than 11,000 MW particularly in the peak agricultural season. ''This extra demand can be met through purchase agreements with power surplus states which is highly expensive,'' he added.

Even the initiative of the present government in Punjab to have coal-based thermal plants at Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib would be four times expensive than nuclear plants and would add to environmental hazards, he opined.

''In this context, the Congress party in Punjab whole-heartedly supports the Indo-US nuclear agreement and in the same breath condemns those parties that are opposing this vital treaty, be it the Communist parties or the BJP,'' Mr Khaira said.

He said there was a great need of a genuine consensus among all political parties, regional or national, to understand that this deal ''is in the larger interests of the nation,'' Mr Khaira added.


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