Left finalises response to UPA-Left panel on nuclear deal

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New Delhi, Sep 13: The Left parties today finalised their response to be submitted to the UPA-Left committee on the Indo- US Nuclear deal, outlining their concerns regarding the impact of the Hyde Act, weapons programme and energy security.

''We held a joint meeting this evening to decide on our response.

We have prepared the points of our reply to the government on three broad issue, the impact of the Hyde Act on our independent foreign policy, the weapons programme and energy security,'' CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said.

Briefing newspersons on the 50-mintue meeting held at CPI(M) headquarters-- A K Gopalan Bhawan here, Mr Bardhan said in today's meeting a draft response was prepared.

CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, senior party leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI National Secretary D Raja, Forward Bloc leader Debbrat Biswas attended the meeting. All of these are members on the 15-member UPA-Left panel set up to address Left parties concerns over the Indo-US Nuclear deal. The panel is headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

''Tomorrow we will send the note to the Committee and get back the government response by September 17. The panel will meet again on September 19,'' Mr Bardhan said.

The Committee which has been set up to find a common ground to remove doubts and apprehensions of the Left parties on the deal, unveiled its agenda and procedural modalities during its first meeting held here on Tuesday.

Denying desisting from their stated position over the issue, the Left parties said as far as the functioning of the panel was concerned, they were ''taking it very seriously''.

The Left parties meeting came a day ahead of the Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar leaves for the annual general meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Left has not raised any objection to Mr Kakodkar attending the meeting on the plea that this ''is a routine general body meeting wherein India can take part''.

All other members, representing UPA allies, are expected to submit their replies by September 17 before the panel's scheduled meeting on September 19.

Mr Biswas, while talking to UNI

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