UPA-Left panel on N-deal to meet on May 6

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New Delhi, May 4: As the Left opposition to the Indo-US Nuclear deal continues, a crucial meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee on the issue will be held here on May 6. The meeting also assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of the statement of US President George Bush blaming India's growing demand for the spiralling global food prices.

This will be the eighth meeting of the political mechanism that was constituted by the Congress-led Manmohan Singh government an year ago to sort out the differences on the deal with the Left parties, which provide the crucial prop to the government from outside. The Committee last met on March 17 when the government shared with Left the details of the draft safeguards agreement reached with IAEA in February this year.

Today's meeting is expected to deliberate whether or not India should sign the IAEA safeguards agreement. The signing of the IAEA safeguards agreement and clearance from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) are essential ahead of the signing of the 123 agreement with the United States to operationalise the nuclear deal.

At the last meeting, the Left parties had conveyed that they would study the agreement and spell out their position at the next meeting. CPI(M) sources said the Left would seek more clarifications from the government on May 6.

The government has already indicated that it might concede the demand of the Left parties to seek the sense of Parliament before signing the nuke deal.


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