Nuke deal opponents are anti-people: Kapil Sibal

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Mumbai, Sep 28 (UNI) Asserting the UPA Government's resolve to operationalise the Indo-US nuclear deal at the earliest, Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal today described the opponents of the deal as ''anti-people''.

Addressing a press conference at the Maharashtra Congress Office here, Mr Sibal said, ''The question here is about energy and not Bush (US President).'' He said he had been travelling to different parts of the country to dispel the misinformation about the civilian nuclear energy agreement.

In states like Maharashtra and Gujarat, rural areas do not get electricity for 14 hours affecting farmers and manufacturers.

Nuclear energy is an inevitable option and the 123 agreement has to be seen against this background. ''When the deal is operationalised, India will be all set to enter the global nuclear regime on its own terms. I fail to understand how anybody can oppose this,'' he asked.

Refusing to attribute motives to the Left's opposition to the deal, Mr Sibal said the Left parties are good friends, but difficult to convince. But, we are living on hope, he added.

The Minister said the UPA Government has not compromised on national sovereignty and wants to make India a nation which matters in world affairs. ''The 123 agreement will help us to take the country in that direction,'' he added.

The deal assures uninterrupted and assured nuclear fuel supply to reactors in the safeguards and also gives India the right of nuclear fuel reprocessing, he stressed. ''India should not loose this historic opportunity,'' he felt.

Nuclear energy will bridge part of the gap between demand and supply of energy and increase the basket of options for enhancing energy reserves.


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