Congress hails landmark deal, avoids the B-word | india | Hindustan Times
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Congress hails landmark deal, avoids the B-word

An elated Congress on Thursday hailed the passage of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in the US Senate as a “landmark development” that will pave the way for India’s integration into the global mainstream, reports Saroj Nagi.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2008 01:09 IST
Saroj Nagi

An elated Congress on Thursday hailed the passage of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in the US Senate as a “landmark development” that will pave the way for India’s integration into the global mainstream.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi said in a statement: “This is a notable achievement of the UPA government and will contribute immensely to augmenting the much-needed energy generation capacity for agriculture and in meeting our developmental objectives.”

Although Gandhi refused to even mention the Opposition, leaders like Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi were quite vitriolic. But none of them made any reference to US president George W. Bush, raising the speculation that the party was being sensitive to Muslim reactions, considering the troubled times.

Gandhi claimed that the deal was guided by India’s “supreme national interest… The agreement will be mutually rewarding for India and the international community and help address the twin challenges of energy security and climate change.”

She used the occasion to compliment the PM and the Indian nuclear scientists, who had – under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi – made India self-reliant in nuclear technology despite the denial of technology for three decades.

Sibal said, “One cannot think of a similar foreign policy achievement for a long time. The PM will be remembered for it. Sonia Gandhi will be remembered for having led the party and supporting the Prime Minister at this juncture.”

Singhvi took a dig at the Left and other parties, saying, “We lost over three years because of domestic opposition.”

Mulford: 123 is final

US ambassador to India David Mulford said that Washington would adhere to the commitments made in the bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement with India.

“The content of the 123 agreement have been preserved and there has been no amendment to the contents,” he told reporters after the Senate vote. On the enrichment and reprocessing technology, Mulford said US laws prohibit such transfers to any country, not specifically to India.

With inputs by Tushar Srivastava