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PM, Vajpayee discuss N-deal
November 14, 2007 22:46 IST
On the eve of the winter session of Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] met Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday night and discussed the Indo-US nuclear deal on which the saffron party has hardened its stand by demanding a renegotiation.
Dr Singh drove to the former prime minister's 6A, Krishna Menon Marg residence in the evening and held deliberations on the current political situation.
Leader of the Opposition Lal Kishenchand Advani was also present during the meeting.
"In the course of the meeting, they discussed current political issues, including the nuclear deal," Prime Minister's Office spokesman Sanjaya Baru said.
The prime minister's initiative to meet Vajpayee assumes significance as BJP had last week demanded the deal's renegotiations saying the agreement in its present form compromised India's long-term strategic programme.
The BJP stand, finalised at a meeting of senior party leaders on November 7, had scotched speculation that the saffron party was ready to cast aside its opposition to the deal following a series of meetings US Ambassador to India David C Mulford had with party top brass, including its president Rajnath Singh and Advani.
With the nuclear deal set to be one of the main issues in the brief session of Parliament beginning Thursday, the government is aiming to mould a political consensus on it.
Dr Singh conveyed good wishes for Deepavali to Vajpayee and also enquired about his health.
The 82-year-old Vajpayee has been keeping unwell for the past few months.
He was admitted to the All India Insititute of Medical Sciences recently where he underwent treatment for a week.