Govt to go ahead with Indo-US 'N' deal: Pranab

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New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Asserting that the opponents of the Indo-US Nuclear agreement did not have any case, the government today made it clear that it would go ahead with the deal to sustain 9-10 per cent growth rate, even as the entire Opposition as well as the Left allies walked out in protest.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, while replying to the short-duration discussion on the Indo-US Nuclear deal in Rajya Sabha, said India would not forego its right to conduct the nuclear tests and refinement of nuclear weapons, if warranted by the geo-political situation.

''Consequences may follow and we are prepared to face it as we did in 1974 and 1998...'' he said.

The Minister made it clear that India would be governed only by the 123 Agreement, not the Hyde Act, and nothing prevented the country from conducting nuclear tests and refining nuclear weapons.

In his hour-long reply, Mr Mukherjee also rejected the demands from the BJP and the CPM to get the ''sense of the House'' and not rush with the deal, saying only the process had been initiated.

''I am not opposed to taking the sense of the House, but on what...It is only a process,'' he said adding that the opponents had neither a reason, nor case.

''They have no reason, they have no case,'' he said as the members walked out in protest.

Mr Mukherjee, whose spirited defence of the deal drew repeated applause from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other members of the treasury benches, also asked the Opposition not to doubt the sincerity of the Government.

''It (deal) is only a process, give it a try,'' he said.

Rubbishing the argument that nuclear energy was a costly proposition the country could ill-afford, the External Affairs Minister said same doubts were expressed when the country ushered in IT revolution and mobile phone.


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