Trenton deal: AIFB to raise issue in Parliament; CPM demands probe

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New Delhi, Mar 15 (UNI) With the CAG censuring Navy for buying a 36-year-old ship without proper physical assessment, two Left parties today slammed the government for ''buckling under US pressure.'' While the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) today demanded a probe into the USS Trenton (now INS Jalashwa) deal, the All India Forward Bloc said it would raise the issue both inside and outside 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.

AIFB general secretary and MP Debabrata Biswas said the condition of Pentagon accepted by India that the ship cannot be used in offensive roles only showed the subservient attitude of 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.

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