In the backdrop of the Left parties giving the government the green signal to open talks with the IAEA, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh allayed fears that the India-US nuclear pact will hurt New Delhi’s strategic programme and erode its independent foreign policy. He told party cadres to drum up support for the deal by nailing the false propaganda.
Citing the heritage of Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, the PM told the daylong AICC meeting that India was too big a country to be bent by another nation in any direction. He raised the nuclear deal to clear the air and take the party cadres along. <b1>
The delegates applauded when Singh asserted that the deal was a must for the country’s development. Explaining the rationale behind the pact, he said it would open new avenues for supply of nuclear fuel and technology. If the country has to progress, it’s imperative to look for alternative sources of power. The existing reliance on coal and hydro power will not fulfill the energy needs, he said.
“The civil nuclear agreement is an effort to open closed doors to obtain nuclear fuel and technology from other countries. You need to understand this reality and explain it to the people,” he exhorted the Congressmen. Comparing the Congress-led UPA government’s three-and-a-half years’ rule with that of the NDA regime, Singh said the country is experiencing all-round growth as against the misplaced India Shining slogan of the previous government. The concept of India Shining was totally rejected by the people as it was based on misconceptions. Shining for whom? Shining for which region? Shining for which class of people? he asked.
In stinging criticism of the NDA government, Singh said the UPA came to power on a mandate to contain communal strife, uproot the divisive agenda of the previous regime and ensure economic development. The National Common Minimum Programme was framed to fulfil this mandate, he observed. Counting the achievements, Singh said the poverty graph shows a drop in many parts of the country as a result of consistent growth, the GDP currently touching the 9 per cent mark.
Singh felt that the policies and programmes of the Congress and the UPA government were not being put in proper context before the people. He cited various welfare schemes launched by the Centre on the basis of the Congress manifesto.