CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury held detailed discussions with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the Indo-US nuclear deal, in a bid to resolve differences in perception between the Left and UPA on the issue.
Mukherjee, who is also the Leader of Lok Sabha, and Yechury are understood to have discussed issues concerning floor coordination between the ruling coalition and its outside supporters in the Winter Session of Parliament.
The UPA-Left Committee on the nuclear issue, headed by Mukherjee, is likely to meet after a debate in Parliament. The panel is in the process of finalising its findings on various aspects of the issue including the implications of the Hyde Act on the 123 Agreement, India’s foreign and defence policies and nuclear self-reliance.
There are differences in the views of the Left parties and the government over what they consider as operationalisation of the nuclear deal.
While the government holds that the deal can be operationalised only after agreements are arrived at with the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Left says that starting this process itself amounts to operationalisation. The Committee is currently deliberating on this issue.
Sunday’s meeting came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Mukherjee held crucial talks with Left leaders Prakash Karat and A.B. Bardhan in an apparent attempt to break the ice on the nuclear issue.
The leaders decided to convene the Committee meeting, originally scheduled on November 16, as soon as possible and take up a discussion on the nuclear deal in the beginning of the upcoming session.