Govt hopeful reaching consensus with Left on nuke deal issue

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New Delhi, Jun 27 (UNI) Expressing optimisum on reaching consensus over the Indo-US nuclear deal with the Left parties, the government today said there were time constraints in implementing the agreement and views of different sections had to be considered.

''We hope it will be possible to arrive at a consensus,'' External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said adding that the government was discussing the matter with all the parties concerned and hoped to arrive at a consensus.

Congress, the chief constituent of the UPA, meanwhile, rejected CPI (M)'s charge that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had thrust a crisis on the nation due to US pressure on the nuclear issue and said the deal had the backing of the party and its allies.

The Congress ''does not agree'' with the views of CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and the government would take a decision on the deal in the best interest of the nation, not coming under pressure from anyone, AICC spokesman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

At the same time, he made it clear that the Indo-US nuke deal would contribute to the country's energy security and thereby help check the inflation which was on the rise mainly due to the galloping crude prices that touched the 140-dollar mark in the international market.

The statement reinforces the general perception in political circles, particularly the Left, that the government would go ahead with finalising the India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA at a ''suitable time.'' AICC Media Cell Chairman M Veerappa Moily has gone on record stating that the government has to merely decide on the timing of the safeguards agreement.

Earlier, in an article of the forthcoming edition of the CPI(M) mouthpiece, People's Democracy, Mr Karat today said the present political crisis is a sequel of the PM's renewed bid to go to the IAEA to seek its approval for the safeguards agreement to operationalise the nuclear deal.

The hard-hitting article came in the wake of the deepening chasm between the govenment and the Left parties over the deal, reportedly witnessed during the UPA-Left panel meeting here on Wednesday, when both the sides stuck to their respective positions.


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