IAEA chief ElBaradei meets Kakodkar

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Mumbai, Oct 9: Only if the Indian Government wants to discuss the nuclear safeguards agreement will the IAEA do so, said its chief Mohammad El Baradei on Tuesday.

Baradei is currently on a four-day visit to India. Meanwhile, the Left parties have reportedly convinced the Government not to go to the IAEA for operationalising the nuclear safeguards agreement.

"We don't think any formal negotiations will begin (with IAEA) before this Committee comes out with its findings," CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said after an over two-hour-long meeting of the UPA-Left Committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

"Our talks are continuing. I don't think anything will be implemented," the veteran Communist leader said a day after Left parties made it clear to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi that the government cannot initiate negotiations with the IAEA before the committee to go into their concerns on the deal came out with its findings.

However, there was no formal word from the government on the issue, though Railway Minister Lalu Prasad confidently said:"The government is not falling. There will be no snap poll."

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who chaired the meeting of the 15-member Committee, said the panel would continue discussions on October 22.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of strong and divergent views expressed by both UPA and Left parties on the issue that fuelled speculation about mid-term polls.

The outside supporters have been insisting that the government should not go ahead with formal negotiations on India-specific safeguards with the IAEA till this panel completed its work.


ANI>

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