New Delhi: The stand-off between the United Progressive Alliance government and its key ally, the Left Front, on the Indo-US nuclear deal showed signs of easing on Monday with the government suggesting the creation of an institutional mechanism to look into concerns over the deal.
The government conveyed this to Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan and senior leaders D. Raja and Gurudas Dasgupta at a meeting that external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and defence minister A.K. Antony had with them on Monday. After a 90-minute discussion at Mukherjee’s residence, Bardhan said a joint mechanism to work out differences on the deal would be set up.
Talk time: CPI’s A.B. Bardhan, D. Raja and Gurudas Dasgupta before meeting external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday.
Bardhan said the Congress should hold further discussions, individually, with other constituents of the Left Front, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, Forward Bloc and CPI(M). Bardhan added that the two parties discussed other issues on Monday, but declined to elaborate. “We have said that a solution should be at a political level,” he said.
It isn’t known what the Congress and the CPM meant by a political solution or whether this means that Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would participate in discussions with the Left Front. However, a member of the Congress party familiar with the developments said the silence maintained by Mukherjee during and after the meeting with the CPM indicated that there was no change in the party’s position.
PTI contributed to this story.