Bardhan calls on Deve Gowda to discuss nuclear deal

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New Delhi, Jul 2 (UNI) Communist Party of India (CPI) leaders A B Bardhan and D Raja today called Janata Dal (Secular) President and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda for an ''informal discussion'' on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The luncheon meeting lasted an hour at Mr Gowda's residence and the discussions were of general nature, JD(S) Secretary General K Danish Ali, who was present at the meeting, said.

Asked about the JD(S) stand on the nuclear deal, Mr Ali said the party was ''totally committed'' to India exercising an independent foreign policy.

He said none from the Congress had approached the JD(S) or Mr Gowda for seeking support for the controversial deal.

Asked if the understanding between the Congress and his party in Karnataka would not come in the way of treading an independent nuclear policy, the JD(S) spokesman said the Congress itself was on record that the understanding with the JD(S) was limited to extending its support to Congress nominee in the Rajya Sabha and the floor coordination in the state Assembly.

UNI MCN SKB AS1742

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