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Sonia bats for nuclear energy
K Anurag in Guwahati | June 13, 2008 15:26 IST
Even as the Indo-US nuclear deal is gathering dust on the backburner because of stiff opposition from the Left parties, Congress president and chairperson of United Progressive Alliance Sonia Gandhi [Images] on Friday underlined the importance of nuclear energy for the country at this juncture.
Addressing a Congress-organised farmers' rally in Guwahati on Friday afternoon, the UPA chairman called for the realisation of the importance of nuclear energy in view of the energy crisis faced by the world.
"Nuclear energy has gained much importance in view of steeping crude oil prices in the world," she said while launching an attack on opposition political parties for trying to gain political mileage out of escalating prices precipitated by rising crude oil prices in the global market.
"The biggest challenge before the country today is inflation and escalating prices that are fallouts of the steep increase in crude oil prices. The prices of petroleum and diesel in our country are still much cheaper than that in our neighbouring countries and many other parts of the world. The government is facing tremendous pressure in its efforts to shield people from the real impact of the global crude oil price rise," the UPA chairman said.
She reiterated the UPA government's committed to improving the economic conditions of the farmers, who she termed the pride of the nation.
She said the Rs 70,000 crore loan waiver granted for the farmers by the government in the last Budget would go a long way in providing relief to farmers of the country.
Sonia said the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance had no right to crticise the UPA government's farmers-oriented policies as the previous NDA government virtually did nothing for farmers.
She underlined the need for rapid rural electrification and the popularisation of pisciculture and dairy for rapid economic development of farmers in the country.