'CPI will take time to mull IAEA safeguards'

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Hyderabad, Mar 21: The Communist Party of India (CPI) has not yet come to grips on the issue of the India-specific agreement on safeguards with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Party National General Secretary A B Bardhan said today.

Talking to reporters here ahead of the Party's 20th Congress from March 23 to 27, he said the government had taken four months to negotiate with the IAEA on the issue. ''It is not possible for the party to finalise the party's stand very soon,'' he said. Stating the UPA Government had briefed the Left Parties on the IAEA talks during the last UPA-Left Committee meet, he said, ''we need to study the issue in minute details before firming up our stand.'' ''The party has no problems with India's talks with the IAEA. The problem is with the Indo-US nuclear deal,'' he said.

The CPI was of the firm belief the deal, governed by the Hyde Act, was not in ''India's interest'', he said.

''The act is derogatory to India's sovereignty and affects the pursuit of independent foreign policy,'' he maintained.

The party was not at all opposed to harnessing nuclear energy, which now accounted for 2.8 per cent of power generation in the country, Mr Bardhan added.


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