NRIs to press US Congress on nuke deal

Leading Indian American community members would attend a series of events designed to urge Congress to ratify the agreement.

india Updated: May 02, 2006 18:05 IST

A broad coalition of groups representing the Indian American community, including some prominent members, would press lawmakers to ratify legislation on the civilian nuclear energy agreement between the US and India.

Leading community members, including entrepreneurs, hoteliers, physicians, and venture capitalists from across the country would gather on Wednesday and attend a series of events designed to urge Congress to ratify the nuclear agreement. The event is being organised by the US-India Friendship Council.

The events include interaction with the US Chamber of Commerce before community leaders go to Capitol Hill to meet individually with members of Congress in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

"Today, the Indian-American community stands united with one voice to urge our country's leadership to forge a unique partnership for the 21st century between the world's oldest and largest democracies," said Swadesh Chaterjee, a North Carolina businessman and political activist.

"On multiple levels (strategic, security, environmental, and economic,) this agreement is good for the US, India, and the rest of the world, he said in a release.

"India has a spotless reputation on proliferation and deserves to be treated on that track record", he said.

Ranavir Trehan, a community leader in Northern Virginia said: "I may be of Indian descent but I am an American. How this agreement benefits us is clear to me. Strategically, the US knows that supplier relationships can paralyse individual countries from joining us in isolating nations supportive of terrorist organisations.

This agreement will eliminate any need for India to form alliances with such rogue nations in order to meet its burgeoning energy needs.

"Moreover, beyond this benefit to international security, serving India's growing energy needs through nuclear power instead of coal will also significantly reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions, so there are multiple reasons for Congress to pass this agreement," he added.

First Published: May 02, 2006 17:46 IST