M A I N   N E W S

Delhi Test
Cong into overdrive
Anita Katyal
Our Political Correspondent

IAEA meeting postponed to Aug 1

Mumbai: A crucial meeting of the Board of Governors of International Atomic Energy Agency to build a consensus on India-specific safeguards accord essential to help implement Indo-US nuclear deal has been postponed from July 28 and is likely to be held on August 1, IAEA sources said. — PTI

India to brief IAEA on July 18

Mumbai/New Delhi, July 14
Even before it faces the confidence vote in the Lok Sabha, the government will brief the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna on July 18 on India-specific safeguards agreement which the Board is likely to discuss on August 1 to help implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

India today informed the 35 member-countries on the Board of Governors about the July 18 briefing, IAEA sources said today. The invitation for the briefing on the safeguards, initialled by India and IAEA on July 7, was sent out by Indian Ambassador to Austria Saurabh Kumar. — PTI

New Delhi, July 14
The Congress is marshalling all its forces for the crucial July 22 trust vote in Parliament as it is faced with the laborious task of contacting and persuading a host of small political parties and individual leaders who are driving a hard bargain in return for their support.

Although the Congress is exuding confidence about winning the vote, its crisis managers are well aware that they can ill-afford to take any chances as they are up against a determined BJP and equally obdurate Left parties who have made it abundantly clear that they will do everything possible to defeat the UPA government.

While the Congress machinery is in top gear, the party is missing one of its ace troubleshooters — information and broadcasting minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi — who is out of action as he is recuperating from heart surgery.

Since Dasmunsi has friends across the political divide, he would have been an asset at this time when every hand and every vote counts.

The Congress is well aware that political parties and individual MPs will weigh their prospects in the next Lok Sabha elections when they take that crucial decision.

“After the delimitation exercise, several MPs have lost their constituency, others are not sure if they will be able to win again and still others are not sure if their party will renominate them,” remarked a senior Congress leader, adding that all these factors will play a crucial role when the votes for confidence are cast.

The Congress has kickstarted the process of contacting one-man parties like the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), the Mizo National Front and the three Independent candidates individually.

Hard bargaining is on with parties like Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (S), Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

Although the Telengana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) has declared that it will be voting against the UPA, the Congress has not given up on it completely as it believes it can still be persuaded to change its stance.

Ahmed Patel, Congress president’s political secretary, had a long session with JMM leader Shibu Soren who is upset at being denied a Cabinet berth even after he was acquitted by the court. Soren is learnt to have been promised the coal ministry in return for his support.



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