CPM slams govt for USS Trenton deal

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New Delhi, Mar 15: The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) today slammed the Centre for the hurried deal on mphibious landing ship USS Trenton (INS Jalashwa) following the ''damning indictment'' by the CAG on the purchase in its latest report and demanded a statement in Parliament.

Quoting the CAG report tabled in Parliament yesterday, the CPM wondered why the 1971 vintage ship was bought when the US Navy itself had concluded in 2003 that USS Trenton was not suitable for modernisation and should be decommissioned in 2006. The CPM also criticised the Indian Navy brass for finalising the USD 50 million deal after only a 'visual inspection'. The Left party, while demanding an enquiry, also sought a statement in Parliament by the government.

The party also criticised the government for accepting the ''restriction on offensive deployment'' clause while finalising the deal. ''Was the deal inked following pressure from the Bush administration?'' the CPM wanted to know from the government.

The Comptroller and Auditor-General had raised doubts over the military efficacy of USS Trenton (now INS Jalashwa) especially in view of the restrictions on offensive deployment and permission to the US to conduct an inspection and inventory of all articles transferred under the end-use monitoring clause.

UNI

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