N-deal affecting strategic nuclear programme false propaganda: PM

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New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today used the AICC session to hit out at the BJP and Left parties and said the propaganda that the Indo-US civil nuclear deal would hurt the country's strategic nuclear programme was ''totally false''.

''I have stated repeatedly that this agreement concerns only the civil side of the nuclear programme. It has no bearing on the strategic programme and will remain independent and without any international pressure,'' Dr Singh said, going out of written text.

He also termed 'totally false'' the propaganda that the agreement would influence India's foreign policy, saying: ''Nobody can bend India in any way''.

''India is too big a country. We have the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi,'' he said.

In his written speech, he made a passing reference to the ''doubts and misgiving in many minds about this agreement''.

He said it was impossible to fulfill the developmental needs of the country solely through thermal and hydro electric power, and hence new sources of energy needed to be located to maintain the growth rate and eliminate poverty.

''The civil nuclear agreement is an effort to open closed doors so that we can obtain nuclear fuel and technology from other countries, such as USA, Russia and France, and remove the shortage of electricity in the country.'' He asked the Congress workers to go to the people and explain the reality.

UNI

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