Congress trains its men to defend nuke deal

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New Delhi, Aug 6 (UNI) In an exercise to ensure effective communication to the people on the benefits of the Indo-US Nuclear deal ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress today held a one-day orientation workshop to enlighten its national and state-level spokespersons on the diferent facets of the issue.

External Affairs MInister Pranab Mukherjee explained to the participants the impact of the Nuclear agrement on India, while National Security Adviser M K Narayanan briefed them as to how the idea of the nuclear deal was conceived way back in September 2004 and how it was converted into a reality.

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi wound up the day-long session at the Teenmurti Bhawan by delivering a lecture on "Energy Security." Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Indo-US Nuclear Deal Shyam Saran spoke at length on "The Nuclear Deal-overall dimensions.'' Mr Saran made a special reference to the Hyde Act and the steps taken by the government to operationalise the deal, AICC Spokesperson Manish Tewari told mediapersons.

The participants asked several questions during the interactive session. They include : How much does the deal impinge on India's independence ? Whether India will retain its right to undertake nuclear tests? and Will the cost of nuclear energy affordable to India? Mr G P Srinivasan, Former Vice Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, made a power point presentation on nuclear agreement.

Though the main focus of the exercise is the nuclear deal, Finance Minister P Chidambaram spoke on "Paradigm change brought about in the inclusive and Fast Economic Development and Combating Inflation" and AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh on "Comparison of UPA and NDA achievement;'' Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad explained the volatile situation in the state as many participants wanted to know the real security situation following the Amarnath land row.

UNI SH RL KN2008

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