New Delhi, Oct 9: Senior leaders of the Left Front, including CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the latter's office where the Communists have reportedly rejected Government's willingness to initiate informal talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for India-specific safeguards agreement.
The unscheduled meeting of senior Left leaders with Mukherjee has led to speculations that the relations between the UPA and the Communists have reached a low with both sides hardening their stance on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
A safeguard agreement with the IAEA is important to operationalise the nuclear deal, which is being objected by the Left Front.
The talks between Karat and Mukherjee reportedly remained inconclusive.
An emergency meeting of the Congress core group has been called to assess the situation, which according to sources have become 'volatile'.
Though political leaders from both the sides have refused to say anything on record, speculations are rife that a showdown between the Congress-led UPA and the Left, which provides crucial support to the coalition, is drawing near.
The special committee of the UPA and the Left, formed for resolving differences over the nuclear deal is scheduled to meet on Tuesday.
The UPA Government wanted to open informal negotiations with the IAEA during the international body's chief, Mohamed ElBaradei's three-day visit to New Delhi beginning Tuesday.