PM embarrassed over logjam in N-deal issue

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New Delhi, Oct 22: A few hours before the Left-UPA meet on Indo-US Nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today reportedly told the UPA allies that he was "extremely embarrassed" over the logjam on the issue.

Dr Singh, who was at the centre of criticism not only from the Opposition BJP-led NDA but also from the supporting Left parties over the deal, had given vent to his pent-up feelings at a meeting attended by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other leaders of the ruling coalition at his official 7 Race Course Road residence.

The meeting, lasting nearly 80 minutes, apparently discussed a way out of the impasse over the nuclear deal, especially in the context of the Left openly demanding a categorical statement from the government that the "deal is off." At one point of time, Dr Singh, who had expressed hope two days ago that the deal would be through, had reportedly expressed his anguish over the developments vis-a-vis the deal.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and DMK leader T R Baalu attended the meeting.

Dr Singh briefed the allies on the 15-minute-long telephonic talks he had with US President George W Bush when he was on an official visit to Nigeria last week.

He disclosed the crux of the talks, while admitting that he had told the US leader that there were "certain difficulties" at home in going ahead with the deal.

It is expected that the UPA leaders would convey the sentiments of Dr Singh to the Left leaders during the meeting that is to follow.

UNI

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