October 8, 2007 12:40:36 am
Launching a sharp but veiled attack on the Left, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today strongly defended the Indo-US nuclear deal and said that “elements” opposed to the country’s progress were “enemies” not only of the Congress but also of the nation’s development.
“The opponents of the Indo-US nuclear deal are anti-development, prosperity and peace. We should all join hands in giving them a strong response… We must understand that such elements are not only the enemies of Congress but they are also enemies of progress and development. We have to give them a strong and befitting reply,” Gandhi told a public meeting at Jharli village after laying the foundation stone of the 1500-MW Indira Gandhi super thermal power plant in Jhajjar.
Though Gandhi had defended the deal earlier as well, she had so far refrained from criticising those opposed to it.
She said supply of power has to keep pace with that of development for which there is a high requirement of power in every part of the country.
“Haryana is a state of hardworking farmers. We need electricity for development. Electricity supply is a problem in Haryana, but electricity is also a resource the entire country needs. This is why India has been holding talks with the US on the nuclear deal and the need for it.”
Referring to the Ram Sethu row, she said she was pained that parties were raking up a controversy. “This is a significant year for the country. It is the 150th year of the first freedom struggle, the 60th year of our Independence, and we have also celebrated the anniversary of Gandhiji’s Satyagraha. It’s sad that some people have politicised and created an issue in the name of Lord Ram.”
She said the Ram Sethu issue would be resolved peacefully.
“The Congress has always believed in respecting every religion equally. There should be no such thing that hurts the sentiments of any religious community. This issue will also be resolved with peace and calm,” she said.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the proposed nuclear plant at Kunharia was one of the main achievements of the Congress government. “For 40 years, governments in this state have been usurping power on the basis of caste divides and lies. I am the son of a farmer and the Congress government is working for the people. We are going to build a nuclear plant in Haryana.”
He said people whose land had been acquired for the project would get Rs 10,000 per acre for 33 years, while farmers whose land was acquired by his government would get Rs 15,000 per acre.
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