Efforts on to allay IUML's concerns over N deal

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Kochi, Jul 27: Union Minister for Parliamentary and Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi today said parleys were on to allay Indian Union Muslim Leagues's (IUML) concerns over the Indo-US Nuclear Deal.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Ravi said, ''the IUML had concerns and doubts over the deal and we are trying to allay them.'' An explantion on the deal would be given to the IUML in due course.

Terming the deal beneficial for the country, Mr Ravi said the agreement would help India come out of 30 years of nuclear isolation and produce electricty to fuel economic growth of the country.

''India's development will be beneficial for the youth of the coutry and will help tide over the unemployment problem,'' he noted.

Reacting to the Left parties' allegations that the deal was not discussed with them, Mr Ravi said the government had discussed the various points of the deal in six to seven meetings with the parties concerned.

Expressing his personal view on piling up of nuclear weapons, Mr Ravi said India should not produce nuclear weapons more than the present 'minimum deterrent policy' of the country.

He said the deal was an India-specific and after approvals of the IAEA and 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the country would be able acquire the requisite nuclear fuel for its reactors.

On the 'cash-for-vote' allegation of the BJP MPs, Mr Ravi said a seven-member MP committee was looking into the matter and the whole truth would come out in its report.

He alleged the 'horse-trading' in relation to the trust vote started after talks between the Left parties and BSP.

Reacting to a question on Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Mr Ravi said ''the Speakers's post is a Consitutional one and it is sad such a high post has been dragged into a political imbroglio.'' UNI MA GM RR RK1450

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