Left cautions UPA on US interference in India's issues
New Delhi, Mar 31: Taking umbrage at the US attempts to intrude into foreign policy matters of South Asian countries, particularly India's, the Left parties today cautioned the UPA government against such moves claiming that the Americans had never allowed any country to emerge self-reliant and independent in defence, trade and foreign affairs.
Talking to UNI, the top leaders of the CPI, CPI(M) and Forward Bloc said the US making a presentation on diesel locomotives to officials in the Railway ministry, introducing the Waiver Authority Bill and its reported attempts to get the Observer status in the Saarc, clearly showed that Washington wanted to create a unipolar world with its complete hegemony.
On the US keeness to gain an Observer status in Saarc, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said, ''There is no rationale behind its move. Indeed, the Saarc is a regional forum of independent sovereign countries for cooperation and development. At the best, it can have bilateral relations with other regional forums like the ASEAN and the European Union (EU)''.
''Granting the US the Observer status will only complicate the matters at Saarc, which has yet to consolidate its functioning,'' Mr Bardhan said.
On the US administration introducing the Waiver Authority Bill, the CPI veteran said the Bill contradicted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance on the India-US nuclear deal as it aimed at imposing qualitative and quantitative ceilings on India's nuclear deterrence. Now the US would impose all kinds of conditions, he cautioned the government.
Taking strong exception to the US representatives giving a representation to the officials in the Railway Ministry, Mr Bardhan said, ''The Congress-led coalition government must be told in no uncertain terms that we don't need such interference in our internal affairs''.
Echoing Mr Bardhan's viewpoint, CPI (M) senior leader and party polit bureau member Sitaram Yechury said, ''The US anyway, cannot be part of the Saarc as it is essentially a forum for the development and cooperation among India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Why does the US want to poke its nose here as well?'' CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi expressed strong opposition to the US attempts and wondered why the government was alllowing it. ''The government had earlier tried to smuggle the foreign represenatives in the Planning Commission, which was opposed by the Left'', he said.
''India possesses enough expertise to take decisions regarding its development and progress. Besides, the General Electric Company has a very bad reputation among the developing countries, in particular the Latin American countries," Mr Faizi, the party Weekly New Age editor, said.
Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devrajan said the US administration seeking to barge into our internal affairs simply exposed its highhandedness.
Mr Devrajan said the Left parties had been expressing apprehensions about the nuclear friendship between the US and India and considerable opinion had been conveyed by nuclear scientists against the treaty but the UPA government chose not to pay any heed''.
The Forward Bloc stressed that the only aim of the US was to capture the biggest public sector company of Asia -- the Indian Railways. The government should explain to the parliament and the people as to why this was being allowed, it said.
Recalling what they termed as the US imposition on India to follow its policy pertaining to Iran nuclear issue, the Left leaders impressed upon the Centre the need for adhering to the nation's independent foreign policy.