That the talks broke was evident when Karat said after the meeting: “We have reiterated our stand and told the government not to go ahead with IAEA talks.” Defence Minister, A K Antony, also attended the meeting that took place at Pranab Mukherjee’s residence.
Earlier in the day, the Left parties met and reiterated their stand that India should not sign the safeguards agreement with the IAEA. CPI national secretary, D Raja, who had a meeting with CPM general secretary, Prakash Karat, said that they were talking to all UPA allies and urging them to understand their position on the nuclear deal.
“We are talking to all UPA allies; they are not allies of Congress alone. They are our allies also”, Raja said.
The senior CPI leader said that they were urging the UPA allies to tell the government not to go ahead with the agreement.
“We will appreciate if the allies try to convince the government about the deal,” he said. He added that there was no change in the Left’s stand that the government should not go ahead with the deal.
Earlier the Congress had softened its posture after CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said that he hoped that the UPA government would last its full term.
Highly-placed AICC sources, sending out signals to the Left that it might not implement its threat to take a “political call” on the issue after the UPA-Left meeting on June 25, had said that it would not be possible to go forward in this regard without taking the Left into confidence.
AICC spokesman, Mohammad Shakeel Ahmed said that the Congress was for taking the Left along on the deal. “All steps regarding the deal have been taken with consent of the Left parties so far, and the government would continue to do so in future,” he said.