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Left-UPA Govt meet on N-deal postponed

The Left- UPA government talks on the nuke deal to iron out differences is likely to be held on June 25.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 18, 2008 03:47 PM IST

The much-awaited Left-Government talks on the Indo-US nuclear deal on Wednesday for ironing out differences over the agreement was postponed due to absence of leaders.

The meeting is now likely to be held on June 25, sources said.

However, leaders of Left parties, who maintain that they continue to oppose the deal, including the India-specific safeguards agreement with IAEA, will meet in the evening to review the situation.

As the government made a last ditch attempt to arrive at a consensus, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury met Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday night while National Security Advisor M K Narayanan talked to CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the government's pointsman on the deal, too had a meeting with Karat on Tuesday for about half an hour, after which he met Union Minister Kapil Sibal separately.

The meeting between Mukherjee and Karat was the second within 24 hours after their previous talks on Monday night when the Left's stand was once again conveyed to the government.

Mukherjee, who heads the UPA-Left Committee on the nuclear deal, is understood to have urged the Left parties to allow the government seal the India-specific safeguards agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency, a plea that was rejected by the Left leader.

The safeguards agreement with the IAEA is a step towards implementing the deal.

Karat also had an hour-long meeting with his CPI counterpart A B Bardhan on Tuesday, though the latter maintained that the nuclear issue did not come up for discussion.

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