Left urges govt to use IPI to further snub US

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (UNI) After attacking the UPA government on the nuclear deal and price rise fronts, the CPI(M) today fired another salvo against it when party senior leader Sitaram Yechury urged the government to give a befitting reply to the United States by speeding up the Iran-Pakistan-India(IPI) gas pipeline project.

''This way we can dispel doubts that delay in clinching the project was not because of US pressure,'' he said at a news conference here.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, who left for Pakistan yesterday for signing the US-backed 3.5 billion dollar Turkmenistan- Afghanistan-Pakistan-India(TAPI) gas pipeline project, is also scheduled to hold talks with his Pakistan counterpart on Friday to resolve the transit fee issue which has been holding back progress of the IPI project.

Appreciating India's rejection of US advice on the Iran nuclear programme, Mr Yechury urged the government to also take up the issue more strongly by telling its Ambassador that his country has no business to offer unsolicited advice to India. This needless US comment on the upcoming visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to India on April 29 has proved the Left's apprehension true that if the country signed the nuke deal with the US the latter will impact its foreign policy.

The Left, which has been agitating against price rise, has decided to give notice to the government on the issue shortly. The Left parties have been consistently opposing the US-India nuclear pact since the 123 agreement was signed between the two countries last year.

UNI KSA/SAA RL BD1740

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