However US embassy officials where quick to clarify the issue saying that it was just routine consultations. It was the meeting with Telugu Desam Party's Naidu that triggered speculation among a section of the media that the US diplomat was trying to persuade Naidu not to back a Third Front government, in which the Left will have considerable influence.
US is closely watching Indian election scenario which is expected to produce a fractured mandate when results are announced Saturday, May 16. As Left parties are fiercely opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal, there is increasing concern in United States over Left wielding influence in the next government.
"If the reports are true, then this is gross interference in our internal affairs by the US. Its imperialist character has once again revealed itself through its brazen interference in the affairs of an independent country," CPM Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said in Delhi after the media reports on Peter Burleigh meeting Naidu came to his notice.
Left parties withdrew support to the Congress-led UPA over the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008, reducing it to a minority. They have said in their election manifestos that if a government is formed with their support, Left parties will review and scrap the agreement.
If the report is true, then soon India too will become a 'puppet' like neighbour Pakistan in the hands of United States