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''Lobby working strongly against Indo-US nuclear agreement''

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 23 (UNI) Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma today said a ''lobby'' is strongly working against the interests of India so that the country does not get the benefits of receiving nuclear fuels.

Intervening in the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Indo-US nuclear agreement, he said it is well known that the country's immediate neighbours, namely Pakistan, was lobbying against the agreement.

Noting that it was ''tradition of our democracy that the Prime Minister's assurance to the Parliament is the final word and no aspersions should be cast on that,'' he said that the Prime Minister ''is not only respected inside the country but he has his own image all over the world.'' ''We can understand that in any democracy, opposition is a right but that does not mean that we should overlook the national interest just for the sake of political opposition,'' Mr Sharma said, noting that the agreement gives India immense benefits including the right to store its nuclear fuel for its reactors perpetually.

''It also guarantees for a multi-layer fuel supply and it is only because of this, that Russia resumed the supply of nuclear fuels for the Tarapur nuclear power plant,'' he added.

Pointing to the ''very proud history'' of the Congress party, Mr Sharma stressed that it would not do anything ''that would in any way infringe on our national interest and integrity.'' UNI BKS vd GC1836

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