New Delhi, June 23 : Congress today stepped up its efforts to seek support of its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies on the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal ahead of the UPA-Left panel meet on June 25.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar, Rashtrawadi Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Lok Jan Shakti Party Supremo Ram Vilas Paswan met the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today and discussed the political developments in the wake of stand off between the UPA and the left over the deal.
In a related development, the Union Rural Development Minister and senior RJD leader Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh today urged the Left parties to shun their rigid attitude on the issue.
While talking to reporters in New Delhi Dr. Singh said that the deal is in the national interest to meet the growing energy requirements of the country.
He expressed hope that the differences between the UPA and Left will be sorted out as the Left has objections only to the Hyde Act and not to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement.
Dr. Singh's statement comes close on the heels of a similar statement by the Dravida Munettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M. Karunanidhi in Chennai. The Congress party has also expressed the hope that the differences with the Left will be ironed out.
Briefing media persons party spokesman Shakeel Ahmad said that the government will take the Left parties in confidence while taking any decision on the deal.
The NCP Chief later had a meeting with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary, Prakash Karat on the issue.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says it is against the nuclear deal in the present form.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a book release function in New Delhi today, senior BJP leader L. K. Advani said the party will renegotiate the deal if returned to power.