Rahul backs n-deal, says young opposition MPs do so too

By Rajat Rai, IANS,

Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) : All young MPs, including those in the opposition, favour the India-US nuclear deal, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here Wednesday while declaring his “100 percent” support for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the pact.

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“All young Lok Sabha members even from the opposition, for instance the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), are crystal clear that the nuclear deal is in the country’s interest,” Gandhi told reporters during a visit to his constituency.

The 38-year-old Congress MP went on to add that he had not come across a “single youngster”, even in opposition parties, who opposed the nuclear deal — that led to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government being reduced to a minority with the Left parties withdrawing their support.

According to him, parties opposed to the deal had divisions within themselves.

“I will support the prime minister 100 percent on this (the deal),” Gandhi asserted.

Expressing his faith in Manmohan Singh, Gandhi said: “If the government fails (in the parliament floor test), so be it. The prime minister is an upright leader.

“If something is (done) in the interest of the people, numbers do not matter… Sometimes the government has to take a risk to achieve a milestone.”

The Congress-led UPA government faces a crucial floor test in the Lok Sabha July 22 to prove its majority in the wake of the withdrawal of support by its erstwhile Communist allies.

Playing down reports over differences within the Congress over the prime minister’s stand on the nuclear deal, Gandhi said: “Senior leaders are convinced that if the prime minister has taken a decision, it is the right one.”

Gandhi, who is in charge of the student and youth wings of the Congress party, also said that Manmohan Singh’s stand on the nuclear deal reminded him of his late father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s initiatives vis-a-vis the IT revolution.

“I am proud of the prime minister as he has shown his tenacity, vision and leadership,” Gandhi said.