PM hopes good sense will prevail among N-deal opponents

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Bagdogra, May 17 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today hoped that "good sense" would prevail among those opposed to the Indo-US nuclear deal, saying the pact was in best interests of the country.

Addressing a press conference at the airport here on his way to Delhi from a two-day visit to Bhutan, Dr Singh noted that "most thinking people" had come out in support of the deal.

In particular, he pointed out that former President A P J Abdul Kalam, who had first-hand experience of India's nuclear programme, and Mr Brajesh Mishra, National Security Adviser to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had endorsed the deal in recent days.

He said many members of the country's scientific estabishment were also backing the deal.

''Let us wait and see," was his only response when asked whether the May 28 meeting of the UPA-Left panel on the issue would signal the end of the deal.

According to him, the deal was in India's best interests because it protected the country's strategic programme while enlarging its options on energy sources.

"I sincerely hope that good sense will prevail among those who are opposed to the deal," he said.

In reply to another quesstion, he said India was trying to make civil nuclear energy cooperation with major countries a reality.

He said this was a necessity if the country had to meet its growing energy requirements in an environmentally sustainable manner.

UNI SA RP NS2027

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