Sonia firm on nuke deal, raps Oppn on Ram Setu issue

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Jharli, Jhajjar, Oct 7: Strongly defending the Indo-US nuclear deal, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today called for giving a 'befitting reply' to those who created obstacles in the way of progress and development.Ms Gandhi also attacked the Opposition for creating an 'unnecessary controversy' in the name of Lord Ram and said the Congress believed in giving equal respect to all religions and wanted a solution of the Ram Setu issue through 'peace and wisdom' without hurting religious sentiments.

Asserting that the country needed adequate power for development, she said the Indo-US nuclear deal was signed keeping in view the increasing demand for electricity to keep pace with the rapid strides of development.

''When we are going forward on the way of development, some elements are creating obstacles. They are not only the enemies of the Congress but also the enemies of peace and development,'' Ms Gandhi said, while speaking at the Bijli rally here after laying the foundation stone for the 1500 MW Indira Gandhi Super Thermal Power Project here.

Hitting out at the Opposition for being jealous of the achievements of the UPA government, Ms Gandhi said, ''Jab hamara dhyan vikas ke kamon ki taraf hai, virodhion ke dil me dard paida hota hai (When we are engaged in the process of development, it causes pain in the hearts of our opponents.)'' She said during its three-year rule the UPA had launched several welfare schemes for all sections of society, especially the poor, backward classes, minorities and the women.

Terming the extension of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme the big revolutionary step after the Independence to all districts of the country, she said it would go a long way in removing poverty and providing employment to the people.

Against this backdrop, Ms Gandhi said, certain issues were being raised by the opposition to disturb the peace among the people.

In an apparent attack on the BJP on the Ram Sethu issue, she said an ''unnecessary controversy'' had been created in the name of Lord Ram.

The Congress, she said, believed in giving equal respect to all religions and wanted to ensure that no one's religious sentiments are hurt. The party wanted a solution of the Ram Sethu issue through ''peace and wisdom'' without hurting the religious sentiments, she added.



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