New Delhi, June 25 : The much-awaited ninth meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal today lasted for nearly one-and-a-half-hour and ended with a decision only to meet again in the "due course of time".
"The next meeting of the Committee will be held in due course of time," announced Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, who is acting as the bridge between the Congress-led UPA and the Left Parties over the nuclear deal, which the Left is opposing, threatening to withdraw the outside support from the UPA Government if it goes ahead to ink the deal with the US.
All the members of the Coordination Committee were present at the meeting except NCP Chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who is in Lords celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1983 Cricket World Cup victory along with the members of the then team.
Briefing press persons after the meeting, Pranab said, "the ninth meeting of the UPA-Left Coordination Committee was held today. All the members of the Committee were present except Sharad Pawar, who is out of the country. The next meeting of the Committee will be held in due course of time."
The meeting was much awaited by one and all, even as a large media gathering was present outside Mukhrejee's residence to cover the outcome (of the meeting), especially in the wake of Left Parties' threat to pull out their support to bring down the four-year-old UPA Government.
Hectic political happenings were witnessed throughout the day, beginning with a meeting between Pranab and CPI-M general Secretary Prakash Karat at the former's residence. Thereafter, Pranab held parleys with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. A hurried meeting of UPA constituents was also called at Pranab's office in the evening, and last in the series was the meeting at UPA-Left Coordination Committee.
On the sidelines, a meeting between Karat and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was also held at the latter's residence.