'We can't give IAEA safeguards draft'
Government on Wednesday ruled out giving to the Left the draft of the India-specific IAEA safeguards agreement in connection with the Indo-US nuclear deal but asserted that all their queries on this subject have been "answered."
"It is not possible to give them (Left) the (safeguards) text. We have answered all their queries," Union Science Minister Kapil Sibal told TV channels.
Sibal also discounted reports suggesting that the UPA government has decided to go ahead in clinching the IAEA safeguards pact.
"We would like to move forward and go to the IAEA. But we are still in the process of negotiations with the Left. There is no firm decision now (of going to the IAEA)," Sibal said.
The Left leaders have said they have not been given a copy of the safeguards draft and therefore were not in a position to form an opinion.
"In the formal meeting (on June 25), the final position will be taken and we know exactly where we stand and they (Left) know where we stand," he said, adding that the government made a "commitment" that it would not go ahead unless it consulted with the Left.
"As far as the draft is concerned, I think they (the Left) already know the substance of all the questions they had asked. We have given them the substance of what the draft says," Sibal said.
Asserting that the government was committed to take the sense of the House, Sibal hoped there would not be any impediment in the way. "We will persuade our friends", he said voicing hopes that Left will give the free signal.
To a question on the possibility of the Left bringing down the government over the nuke deal, Sibal said "I don't have to speculate on what the Left is going to say... But if a when that situation arises, you will get to know what our position will be".