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NRI reception generates support for N-deal

Many of the lawmakers who attended the reception hosted by the India-born Chatwal came out in support of the deal.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 18:10 IST

The US-India civil nuclear agreement received rare bipartisan support when more than 70 lawmakers from both houses of the US Congress attended a reception hosted by New York-based hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal on the Capitol Hill Wednesday evening.

Many of the lawmakers who attended the reception hosted by the India-born Chatwal came out in support of the deal, saying it will help both India and the US.

Some of them, however, said they were watching developments closely and hoped that whatever reservations they had about the deal would be dealt with positively during such interactions with business leaders from both the countries and their colleagues on the Capitol.

Prominent among the Democrats who attended the reception were John Kerry, Joe Biden, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Lamar Alexander, Joseph Crowley, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer.

Among Republicans who were present on the occasion were John Cornyn, Joe Wilson and Roy Blunt.

Subhash Chandra, chairman of India's Zee TV network, along with Chatwal and Atlanta hotelier Mike Patel, made out a compelling case as to why the nuclear deal was crucial to the larger economic interests of the two countries and to furthering bilateral relations.

Chandra said the deal was pivotal to sustain India's burgeoning economy and its special energy needs.

He also pointed out that if India continued to consume traditional energy resources at the current pace, it could soon adversely impact international oil and energy prices and cripple the economies of many developing countries.

Such a scenario could hit the US economy as well and result in the US having to spend an additional $500 billion annually in sustaining higher energy costs, Chandra said.

The US-India civil nuclear deal would also spawn many business opportunities in India for several US energy companies, he said.