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N-deal: India seeks lobbyists' help

Time magazine reported that the Embassy in US had signed up two firms to sell the deal.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 10:59 IST

India is not solely depending on diplomacy to win the US Congress' backing for its civilian nuclear cooperation deal with Washington but also taking the help of lobbyists, a media report said.

Time magazine reported that in the last fall, long before the visit of President George W Bush to India, the Indian Embassy in Washington had signed up two lobbying firms to "sell the deal".

The Embassy has signed a $700,000 contract with Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, an outfit led by Robert Blackwill, US ambassador to India from 2001 to 2003, it said.

Besides, the Embassy is also paying $600,000 to Venable, a firm that "boasts" of former Democratic Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana as its point man.

The deal, under which India would get uninterrupted supply of fuel for civilian nuclear power reactors which it puts under international safeguards, was signed during President Bush's recent visit to New Delhi and has to be approved by the US Congress.