Bardhan lambasts Fernandes on Tibet issue

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI) Maintaining that Tibet is a part of China, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan today lambasted NDA convenor George Fernandes for describing India's giant neighbour as potential enemy number one.

''Fernandes is itching for a confrontration with China.... it will disturb peace in Asia and the world,'' Mr Bardhan said during an interaction with UNI journalists here after his re-election to the party top post for the fourth term at the CPI Congress in Hyderabad.

The CPI leader alleged that even as Defence Minister in the Vajpayee government, Mr Fernandes had been hobnobbing with Tibetans in the country.

He did not agree with Mr Fernandes' proposition that the Olympic Torch should not be allowed passage through India.

Asked if the time has come to tell Tibetean refugees to leave India, he replied in the negative. ''Even England had given refuge to Karl Marx,'' he added.

Reiterating that unrest in Tibet was an internal affair of China, he said the view conformed with the policy of the Indian government.

Under one-China policy, Tibet and Tailwan are parts of India's big neighbour, he added.

When asked if China's claim on Arunachal Pradesh did not amount to interference in India's internal affairs, Mr Bardhan said ''We do not agree with China about their claim on Arunachal Pradesh... it is a part of Indian territory.'' UNI SAA/JSS RR BD1809

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