Were ministers barred from Dalai felicitation?

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New Delhi, Nov 3: Accusing the Left parties of being ''more concerned'' about China's interests, BJP President Rajnath Singh today demanded that the UPA Government clarify whether it had issued any circular preventing its ministers from attending the felicitation ceremony of exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama.

''Has the government issued a circular to its ministers refraining them from attending functions to felicitate the Dalai Lama who was accorded the highest civilian honour by the United States under pressure from the Left parties who are concerned about China's interests,'' he asked.

The BJP President, in a statement, said that CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat was crying hoarse about the strategic alliance between India and United States as the party saw it as an attempt to ''counterbalance and encircle China''.

''The communists are concerned about China but when it comes to India's interests, they maintain a deafening silence,'' Mr Singh said.

He alleged that the Left leaders overlooked China'a attempt to encircle India by developing a deep sea naval base in Gwader in Pakistan and establishing listening posts in Coco Island in Burma, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, monitoring the movements of the Indian Navy.

The BJP chief said the communists refused to name China as an ''aggressor'' in the 1962 war and were yet to react to China's claims on Tawang and other areas of Arunachal Pradesh.

''Did they take any stand when China refused visas for IAS officers of Arunachal Pradesh? Why did they oppose Pokhran II tests when the NDA conducted the nuclear tests when they were the first ones to welcome the tests conducted by China in 1964.'' The nation knows about their ''historic duplicity'' and how the Left had always acted diametrically opposite to national ethos, he claimed.

Mr Singh said the last three decades of Marxist rule in West Bengal had converted the state into a ''land of gross poverty''.

''Compare one decade of BJP rule in Gujarat to 30 years of communist misrule,'' he said.


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