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Come strongly against Mulford, lodge protest: Left to UPA

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Sep 14 (UNI) Taking a strong view of US Ambassador David C Mulford's consistent ''meddling'' in India's internal matters, the Left parties today urged the UPA government to come out strongly against this tendency and decided to raise the issue in Parliament.

They asked the Congress-led coalition to take necessary measures to prevent the US administration from ''sermonising and instructing us'' on economic matters.

Time and again, the US Ambassador indulged in speaking on issues which were the exclusive prerogative of the Indian government, the leaders of CPI, CPI(M) and Forward Bloc told UNI while recalling how he ''dared'' to set terms for India on Iran's nuclear issue when he threatened that the Indo-US nuclear deal could ''die'' in the American Congress if India did not vote against Iran, the Left leaders said.

They added that much before that, he wrote letters to West Bengal and Chhattisgarh governments on how they should deal with the problem of terrorism.

Mr Mulford yesterday said there were signs of a ''pause'' in the economic reforms process. According to him, ''the privatisations have stopped and political reality suggests that reform of key sectors and policies of central interest to investors will take longer than envisioned''.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said, ''Unfortunately, there are certain people within the government who have no self-respect and who aim to become the US master's voice here.'' The veteran Communist and freedom fighter, Mr Bardhan, said, ''But the overwhelming majority of the people of the country did not like anybody from outside to give sermons to India.'' CPI National Secretary Shamim Faizi emaphasised that sovereignty lay with the representatives of the people through Parliament.

''It appears that the US Ambassador treats India as a banana republic.'' India should lodge a strong protest with the US administration in this context, Mr Faizi demanded.

CPI(M) senior leaders Nilotpal Basu and Salim Mohammed said it was not clear why the US Ambassador always turned out of turn on issues he was not authorised to speak on.

Mr Basu, the former Rajya Sabha member, said Mr Mulford spoke on issues which was the exclusive prerogative of the Indian political system - the legislature and the executive.

''He should better keep all his ideas to himself only,'' Mr Basu added. Mr Mohammed, the CPI(M) Deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, said the US thought that ''it is the master of entire universe and has acquired the right to guide and misguide all countries on this earth''.

Mr Mohammed said they (US) had no respect for the state's independence and sovereignty.

Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devrajan said Mr Mulford's conduct was ''highly condemnable''.

''It is not his job to advise on matters - political, economic, law and order - and any other internal subject.'' he added.

UNI KSA/FZ PK AT BD1627

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