Mukherjee, Antony brief PM on n-deal talks with Left

June 21st, 2008 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Senior Congress leaders Pranab Mukherjee and A.K. Antony met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday to brief him on the negotiations with the Left parties on the India-US civilian nuclear deal. Mukherjee and Antony spent around 40 minutes with the prime minister to discuss the developments in the wake of the Left’s tough stance against the deal. Mukherjee, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s representative in the Left-UPA coordination committee on the nuclear deal, had held meetings with the Left leaders Friday night.

“Mukherjee apprised the PM about the Left stand after his meeting with Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Prakash Karat and Communist Party of India leader D. Raja on the nuclear deal,” a Congress leader said.

External Affairs Minister Mukherjee, who was to leave for Australia Saturday morning, postponed his visit by a few hours. He was likely to leave around 9 p.m., according to officials.

The meeting between the prime minister and Mukherjee came at a time when the CPI-M issued a statement against the deal, labelling it a “bad deal aimed at improving India-US strategic ties”.

The Left has also tried to influence the UPA allies supporting the deal. Raja spoke to DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Saturday morning on the phone to sway his opinion against the deal.

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