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Govt may go to IAEA
Crucial meet today

New Delhi, November 15
On the eve of the crucial UPA-Left meeting on the Indo-US nuclear deal, the government today indicated it would approach the IAEA for negotiations on safeguards agreement.

The indication by a senior minister came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The Prime Minister also held consultations with some of his senior cabinet colleagues, including external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, defence minister A.K. Antony and home minister Shivraj Patil.

A senior minister said the government was contemplating approaching the IAEA and tomorrow’s meeting of the UPA-Left committee on the nuclear deal was important in this regard.

At tomorrow’s meeting, a formal view on this is expected to be firmed up as the Left parties have hinted at softening their opposition to the government’s desire to approach the IAEA.

The development assumes significance as it came a day after the Prime Minister met BJP patriarch A.B. Vajpayee in an apparent attempt to seek the Opposition’s support to the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The Lok Sabha will discuss the nuclear deal on November 27 after the return of the Prime Minister from a two-nation tour of Singapore and Uganda, Dasmunsi said adding the government has offered the debate in the Rajya Sabha on November 28.

The Prime Minister also held separate consultations with parliamentary affairs minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi and also floor managers of the ruling side on the day of the start of the winter session of Parliament which is expected to be a stormy one. — PTI

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