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Home > India > News > PTI

Pranab meets PM over nuclear-deal row

June 21, 2008 12:50 IST

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External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and briefed him about the situation arising out of the government's standoff with Left parties on the India-United States nuclear agreement.

During the 40-minute meeting with the Prime Minister, Mukherjee, who is also the government's chief negotiator on the nuclear deal, is understood to have apprised Singh about the deliberations he and Defence Minister A K Antony had with leaders of the Left and United Progressive Alliance allies in the last few days.

Mukherjee did not speak to reporters after the meeting.

He, along with Antony, had a two-hour long meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] on Friday night.

The government has been trying to end the face-off with Left parties on the nuclear deal, which showed no signs of abating.

Mukherjee had said last night, "There is no improvement or deterioration in the situation. It is a standstill."

UPA allies like the Nationalist Congress Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam, who were firmly backing the government on the deal, have said that the agreement was in the interest of the nation.

The allies have, however, said the government should take in due consideration the viewpoints of Left in the matter.

The Left parties have already made it clear that they will vote against the government if it moves ahead with the pact.

Mukherjee had met Communist Party of India - Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat and Communist Party of India National Secretary D Raja in a bid to find a way out of the current imbroglio. The two Left leaders asked the government not to go to the International Atomic Energy Agency for finalising the India-specific safeguards agreement, which they felt amounted to operationalising the nuclear deal.

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