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India to gain much through N-deal: Cong

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) Defending the nuclear agreement with the US as a historic deal,the Congress today asserted that it would benefit India substantially in solving its problem of electricity shortage.

''While the people had expected the Prime Minister to hit a four, he has hit a sixer,'' party spokesman Rajiv Shukla told mediapersons in the Parliament House premises, claiming that the agreement would reduce the import of petroleum products, thus cutting down on the spending of foreign exchange.

Asked how much exactly did India stand to gain in terms of nuclear fuel, he said it was being worked out.

Mr Shukla pointed out that the agreement would be effective after the US President got the relevant law for nuclear fuel supply amended by the American Congress, and said it was going to be a ''difficult task.'' ''We have gained more than we gave anything to the US through the deal,'' he claimed.

Mr Shukla said adverse criticism of the US-India nuclear agreement had already started coming forth in the US press, which wanted to know as to how the US had agreed to supply nuclear fuel to India when it had not signed the NPT when South Korea was being deprived of the same. He read out a clipping from a US newspaper criticising the deal on this ground as an ''anti-US deal.'' ''It was not that India had sold off its interest to the US, but the other way round as per the US newspaper,'' he said, terming the agreement as a ''big achievement for India.'' Referring to the protests being lodged by the Left parties supporting the Government, Mr Shukla said in a democracy the parties were free to express their opinion. About the protest lodged by the Samajwadi Party, he said the party had no hesitation in extending hospitality to a former US President, ''treating him with lunch and liquor, but was opposing the visit of the US President.'' UNI YS VD BD1803

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