N-deal: M K Narayanan to brief Amar Singh

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New Delhi, Jul 2: National Security Advisor (NSA) MK Narayanan is scheduled to meet Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Amar Singh here, to brief him about the nitty-gritty of the Indo-US nuclear deal, ahead of crucial UNPA meeting. The UNPA on Wednesday, July 3 would decide the future of the third front, and also which way the SP would go in the event of voting in the Parliament over the nuclear deal.

A couple of days ago, Amar Singh had averred that he was not privy to the details of the civil nuclear deal and that he, or his party, has come to know about the deal and 123 Agreement only through his "friends" in Communist parties. He had also said that his party would make its final stance only after getting to know the details of the deal.

The standoff over the nuclear deal between the Congress-led UPA government and the Left parties continues, amid speculations making rounds that the UPA Government might go in for voting over the nuclear deal in the parliament.

Amid hectic political parleys between different parties, Amar Singh had on Tuesday, July 1 held talks with his CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat.

Earlier, after arriving from his vacations in the US on Sunday night, Amar Singh had held deliberations on the nuclear deal with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, making the first contact between the SP and the Congress.

The developments over the past few days have given enough hints that the UPA is on the lookout for a replacement of its Left allies, who have been threatening to withdraw support if it moves ahead with the deal.

The Communists are opposing the deal, saying it "compromises India's sovereignty and security" and have threatened to withdraw vital support from the ruling coalition if the government moved ahead with it.

Amar Singh gave further justification of his party's probable support for the Congress by underlining how the BSP was joining hands with ''communal forces like the BJP.'' The decision to arrange a meeting between M R Narayanan and the SP leaders comes in the midst of hardening of the Left opposition to the Indo-US nuclear pact.

The support of the SP with 39 MPs would be very crucial for the Congress-led UPA in the Lok Sabha in case the Left parted ways with the latter over the issue. The Left combine has 59 MPs among the 288 of the UPA.

The Congress wants to be sure of the SP support for the deal before the Prime Minister leaves for Japan to attend the G-8 summit where he would meet US President George Bush, and it is understood that he would like to take a final decision on the issue before that.

He has set a deadline of July 15 to finalise an India-specific nuclear safeguards treaty with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Left parties had threatened to withdraw their support to the UPA government before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's proposed visit to the G-8 Summit in Japan on July 6.

Though the SP has been saying that it would take a final decision only after the United National Progressive Alliance(UNPA) meeting here on July 3, it was more than clear that the party had almost finalised its views on the issue.

Besides the Samajwadi party, the UNPA includes the Telugu Desam party (TDP), the Indian National Lok Dal of Om Prakash Chautala, the Asom Gana Parishad, the PMK, the Jharkhand Vimukti Morcha. The other two constituents AIADMK and MDMK had already walked out of the Alliance.

OneIndia News

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