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Manmohan's 'bad bargain' with US irks Left parties

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 05: The Left parties today (Mar 05, 2006) said the 'bad bargain' by India with the US in economic, defence, agriculture and other crucial fields dealt during President George W Bush's visit was detrimental to the country's commercial and strategic interests.

The four Left parties supporting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government - CPI(M), CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP - will analyse and review the entire gamut of the Bush visit in a day or two.

Talking to UNI, Left leaders also took a serious view of the US President ''advising'' India to open up FDI in all sectors including agriculture and services and join the fight with the US for ''freedom and democracy'' especially in Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Zimbabve''.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said, ''We believe that Bush has struck a deal with the Manmohan Singh government which will benefit the American corporates and boost the US arms indsutry.'' The CPI veteran said equaly worrying was the agreement on agricultural research, which opens up the sector to 'predatory' MNCs like Monsanto and Walmart.

CPI(M) Parliamentary group leader in the Lok Sabha, Basudeb Acharia, demanded that the Prime Minister make a detailed statement on all aspects of the agreements.

''The people have got the right to know about the Congress-led government's stand on Mr Bush's suggestions for opening up of our markets for that country's industrial and agricultural products besides the services sector. They must be told about the contours pertaining to agreements in defence as well,'' Mr Acharia said.

CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi said Mr Bush came ''hawking'' and in his Purana Qila speech named certain MNCs which he wanted to see in India. "For that he advised the Congress-led government to open up the FDI in all sectors." ''In agricuture, he wants change in the Indian pattern of production to create markets for US agricultural products. He even wants to seek and occupy a space in the services sector," said Mr Faizi.

''Of course, banking and insurance are top priority for the US", said Mr Faizi, editor of the party organ 'New Age'.

CPI( M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said, ''The UPA government by agreeing to the pre-determined framework of the US is pushing India into a relationship which will not serve the interests of the Indian people.'' Mr Faizi said not only in the field of nuclear energy, but even in defence, India would ''be subjugated.'' Already Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee had signed an India-US defence agreement when he was in Washington in July last year, he added.

Forward Bloc Secretary G Devarajan said Mr Bush had no right to seek India's cooperation in a joint fight for freedom and democracy in Iran and other countries as he has already 'destroyed' Iraq and Afghanistan for his vested interests.'' Mr Devarajan also had a dig at the US President for his remark that India was a global power.

''Is he aware of the millions of destitutes in India who earn just Rs 3 a day?'' RSP leader and MP, Abani Roy, said Mr Bush came with a 'set agenda' and he seemed to have accrued more benefits from India in comparison to what he gave. ''Our government seems to have done the wrong thing, which will cost us heavily".


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