CWC might meet on nuke issue this week

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New Delhi, Jul 1 (UNI) A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) is likely to be held this week for endorsing the decision to go ahead with the Indo-US Nuclear deal in the face of resistance from the Left parties, which provide the crucial prop to the 50-month-old UPA government.

Top Party sources said here today that a meeting of the CWC, the highest policy making body of the Congress, would be certainly convened, but added the date has not been finalised yet.

There are indications that the CWC would meet only after the crucial meeting of the Left Parties on July 4 to decide its course of action against the government on the nuclear deal.

A meeting of the Congress Core Committee, which includes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior party leaders, is scheduled to be held on July 5.

Although the Left Parties had been persistently threatening to pull the plug if the government went ahead with the deal, there was optimism in Congress circles about the survival of the UPA government.

A single largest advantage pointed out was the cohesion of the partners of the ruling UPA coalition and their joint optimism to overcome the situation.

Railway Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad today held a 30-minute-long discussion with Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her residence.

Both the leaders reportedly assessed the political situation in the context of the Left threat to withdraw support.

They also discussed different options to save the government which has another 10 months to complete its full term.

Sources said despite the hardening stand of the Left parties, the Congress has worked out a tenative timetable for clearning the remaining hurdles for the nuclear deal.

They said the Prime Minister would not cancel his proposed visit to Japan to attend the G-8 Summit early next week.

The endorsement of the deal by the CWC is expected to provide more confidence to the embattled Prime Minister, who would be interacting with world leaders, including US President George Bush, at the summit.

Congress leaders maintained that they were committed to the deal, as it was in the paramount interests of the nation which needs urgent energy security.

UNI SH ATI MIR KP1906

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