PM, Karat cook up peace deal at breakfast

ibnlive.com
Aug 14, 2007 at 12:42pm IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat on Tuesday announced they would make efforts to sort out issues arising out of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had a breakfast meeting with Karat and discussed issues related to the nuclear deal, which the Left Front has rejected.

"Karat and the Prime Minister reiterated that efforts would be made to sort out the issues," said the Prime Minister's Media adviser, Sanjaya Baru, in a brief statement. Karat would present before the CPI-M’s politburo points discussed during the meeting.

The meeting comes a day after the Prime Minister made a strong defence of the deal in Parliament, saying the country retained the strategic autonomy and "sovereign" right to conduct a nuclear test.

The recent tension in relations between the UPA government and crucial Left allies heightened after the Prime Minister dared the Left parties to withdraw support to the government on the issue, saying the deal cannot be renegotiated.

The Left hit back reminding the government that it was running on their support and asked whether it wanted to run the government.

Despite serious differences over the nuclear deal, the Left has rejected the BJP's offer to press for a vote in Parliament. Left leaders have ruled out withdrawing support to the UPA but it's believed that they might move from a blanket support to issue-based support.

The CPI-M politburo will meet on Friday to discuss the nuclear deal. Meanwhile the Congress Party in Parliament met today to take stock of the situation.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi may speak on the deal later in the day. This will be her first reaction to the widening rift between the allies. Sonia is reportedly satisfied with the Prime Minister's statement on the deal in Parliament.

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