India's growth depends on nuclear energy: Pranab

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Kolkata, Sep 22 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today lashed out at the Left and BJP's propaganda against Indo-US nuclear agreement, saying India's targeted growth was depending only on supplies of nuclear energy.

Explaining why India needed such an agreement, Mr Mukherjee said to achieve 10 per cent growth the country must augment energy supplies to minimise current deficit of electricity of 1.5 lakh mw as against existing production of 1.38 lakh mw.

"Electricity is absolutely a necessity to become a powerful nation as country's growth is depending on energy supplies," Mr Mukherjee said while giving details of projected requirment of 4 lakh mw by 2030 and another 4 lakh mw in the next twenty years.

He said now 300 million people, especially in rural areas, have no access to electricity, although India spends huge funds by importing coke from Germany and Australia for producing electricty.

Lambasting at the Left parties' propaganda that Indo-US nuclear agreement would lead India into forfeiting its "economic soverignty", Mr Mukherjee said he held altogether nine meetings to explain the position and asked "if they (Left) do not want to understand who will make them to understand?".

" We believe in debate and discussions but the Left parties and the BJP have misconception on 123 India specific safegaurd agreement," he observed.

"Their propaganda was not on merit and rationale but based on political angularity on the Indo-US agreement," Mr Mukherjee said.

Describing BJP's and Left parties arguments as hollowed and malicious that India would mortgage its economic sovereignty once civil nuclear cooperation agreement was signed with the US, Mr Mukherjee reminded that similar opposition came when India wanted to have authority on some phermaceutical products in 1994, which was ultimately achieved five years later.

Mr Mukherjee, who was addressing on "Indo-US Civil Nuclear Co-operation and its Future Impact," organised by Rajib Gandhi Development Institute, said India did not sign the NPT but believe in voluntary moratorium and would continue do so.

He said "India did not sign the NPT because it is flawed. India believe in peace since the time of Mahahta Gandhi and Pundit Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajib Gandhi followed the same".

Earlier, Information and Boradcasing Minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi without naming the Left asked where they were when India really had sovereignty crisis at the time of Indo-China war in 1962.

"Why those parties had kept quiet despite India were facing danger from agression," he asked.

Mr Das Munshi said forfeiting soverignty by signing an agreement with the US was a baseless propaganda as India has every right to choose and talk to any country it likes.

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