Anantpur (Andhra Pradesh), Sept 11 : Sonia Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and leader of the Congress Party, today said that the 123 agreement would accelerate India's pace of development.
Gandhi, while addressing a huge gathering in Anantpur District of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, said "Nuclear energy is important for the country for producing more electricity and meeting the demands of its billion plus population."
"We need to increase the pace of our development so that we develop at par with other big countries," said Gandhi, and added, "We need to produce more and more (electric) power, that is why nuclear energy is important for our country and that is why the nuclear agreement is such a historic step."
Gandhi further said, "Through it, we will be able to have more nuclear plants which will produce more electricity and energy for our farms, industry, villages, towns and for the whole country."
The government has been facing flak from the opponents of the deal, alleging that it would compromise the country's sovereignty.
The 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) meeting in Vienna adopted a one-off waiver proposed by the United States, allowing atomic business with India even though it has not signed the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and has tested nuclear devices.
Critics and disarmament campaigners fear that India's access to nuclear material markets will provide it access to uranium, which would boost its nuclear arsenal and spark an arms race in the region.