New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) The Left parties today refused to buy the government's argument that there was urgency to hold talks with the IAEA on India-specific safeguards, saying ''there is no such deadline for the purpose''.
The CPI(M), CPI and RSP reiterated that the moment the government chose to negotiate with the IAEA, they would withdraw support to the 40-month-old Manmonah Singh government.
The Left parties' observations came amid reports that the government was all set to start negotiations with the UN nuclear watchdog in the second half of this month for a safeguard agreement which might lead to a final showdown between the UPA and the Left.
US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Central Asain Affairs Richard Boucher had said only recently that ''there is no timetable for operationalsing the nuclear deal'' and that ''we will deal with it in terms of the opportunities that are there when India is ready to move forward.'' Talking to UNI, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan asserted that there was no ''legal binding'' on India in respect of the time framework on implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Mr Bardhan, a veteran Communist, who attended the UPA-Left Panel's meeting last evening, said External Affairs Minsiter Pranab Mukherjee did suggest certain things at the Political Committee's meet, but in no uncertain terms he was told that the government should not proceed with the deal till the Political Committee completed its task.
''The Panel has yet to conclude its deliberations and its next meetings are slated for October 9 and 14,'' said Mr Bardhan, refuting reports that the Politcal Committee was reaching its dead end.
''There is no thing like dead end,'' said the leader.
The CPI leader maintained that more meetings could be held till a final decision on the accord was reached.
CPI(M) senior leader Rup Chand Pal said the Left hoped that the government would pay heed to the Left concerns and show respect to the supporting parties and desist from operationalising the deal till the panel completed its discussions.
RSP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Abani Roy said, ''The moment the government hold formal or informal negotiations with the IAEA, the Left will withdraw its support to the government.'' UNI