M A I N   N E W S

N-deal a must, says Sonia
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Jharli (Jhajjar), October 7
Sending out a clear message to the Left, UPA chairperson and All-India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi justified the nuclear deal with the USA.

Addressing a massive gathering at the “bijli rally” organised here today, she said the nuclear agreement was a must to ensure the generation of adequate power in the country.

Asserting that electricity was a major factor in the development of a state or country in the present era, Sonia maintained that the deal was required in the larger interest of the country’s residents.

Coming down heavily on the political opponents of the Congress, she maintained that the Congress stood for development and those opposing the party were actually opposed to peace and development.

She also appealed to the people of the state not to support the leaders who misguided the people for their vested interests.

The UPA chairperson criticised the Opposition for creating an unnecessary controversy over the issue of Ram Setu. She said her party gave equal respect to all religions and stated that the issue would be resolved amicably.

“It will be ensured that the religious sentiments of the people don’t get hurt,” she added.

Sonia assured the farmers that the UPA government was aware of their needs and would also stand by and support them.

She praised the working of Haryana Chief Minister and said today itself she had laid the foundation stones of three major projects, by which the farmers and people of Haryana would be benefited.

Appreciating the heroic deeds and great sacrifices of the people of Haryana during the country’s freedom struggle, Sonia said they had played a crucial role in attaining independence for the country.

All main speakers at the “bijli rally”, including Sonia, Hooda, his MP son Deepender, Haryana Congress president Phool Chand Mulana and working president Kuldeep Sharma, addressed the gathering with much enthusiasm.

Overwhelmed by the huge turnout and response from party supporters, Sonia described Haryana as “a state of hard-working farmers” and assured them of all possible help. She struck an emotional chord by praising the significant contributions made by the people of Haryana in the country’s freedom struggle.

At the same time, she put her foot down on the issue of nuclear deal with the USA and asserted that the agreement was necessary to meet the heavy and ever-increasing demand for electricity.

She was all praise for Hooda and requested the people to teach a lesson to his detractors. While concluding her speech, Sonia asked the people to raise the slogan of “Jai Hind”. Trying to induce zeal among the audience, she asked them to say it again “aur zor se”.

The people present at the rally were also upbeat and welcomed the announcements made by the Chief Minister with resounding clapping of hands. Slogans like “Sonia Gandhi ki jai,” “Bhupinder Singh Hooda zindabad” and “Congress party zindabad” kept reverberating at short intervals.

Chief Minister’s political adviser Virender Singh also played a key role in keeping the masses seated and in good humour. His witty one-liners and interesting anecdotes made the audience burst into laughter as well as raise slogans.



Pranab meets Basu to end impasse
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

There was no scope for India retracting from the nuclear deal.
There was no scope for India retracting from the nuclear deal.
India’s national interests would not be sacrificed at any cost.
India’s national interests would not be sacrificed at any cost.

Kolkata, October 7
External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee today told CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu that there was no scope for India retracting from the nuclear deal with the US.

Basu assured him that India’s national interests would not be sacrificed at any cost. Mukherjee also seemed to have made it to clear to him that if the CPI(M) and the Left parties’ were still stuck to the decision of pulling out support from the UPA, there could be no other option but to dissolve the Lok Sabha and declare a snap poll.

Mukherjee apprised Basu about the talks he held with the Bush administration during his week-long visit to the US. Yesterday, he had briefed the Left leaders on the issue. The UPA and Left parties would again meet on October 9 to resolve the crisis. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and CPI(M) state committee secretary Biman Bose were also present at the Mukherjee-Basu meeting.

Mukherjee said he hoped that the Left parties would not withdraw their support from the UPA and invite the snap poll. He seemed to have told the Left leaders that they needed more time to negotiate with the IAEA and other UN bodies on the nuclear deal. But both Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have made it clear to the Left leaders that they would not yield to any political pressure from them against the country’s larger interests.

Basu asked Mukherjee whether he got any clarifications from the Bush administration on the Hyde Act and the 123 as per their demands, to which he replied that the process was on. He also said the 123 and the Hyde Act would not have any binding on the nuclear deal.



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