US blackmailing India over n-deal: Bardhan


Thrissur (Kerala) : Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan Saturday charged that the US was blackmailing India over the nuclear agreement and trying to influence the country’s foreign policy.

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“The representatives of the United States are frequenting the country. They say that the clock is ticking to sign the nuclear agreement. They are blackmailing a big country like India. They say we can’t make an agreement with France or Russia unless we sign the 123 agreement (on India-US civilian nuclear cooperation),” Bardhan said, inaugurating the delegates meeting at the 20th CPI state conference here.

Bardhan said the Left parties would oppose the signing of the agreement.

Commenting on the economic situation in the country, the CPI leader said: “We are told that the country is on a fast track growth. What has this economic growth led the country into? Economic disparity is widening … the corporates, numbering 535, own $312 billion (Rs.1.2 trillion), which comes to over 40 percent of the country’s budget.”

Bardhan said the union budget presented Friday was a poll budget and asked why the government had not constituted a debt relief commission.

“After seeing the loan waiver announced, we will say what an astute finance minister (P.) Chidambaram is. For four years farmers were dying and the government did nothing,” he remarked.

“Half of the farmers in the country have taken their loan from private money lenders. What will happen to them?” he asked.

Bardhan said the CPI was trying to be part of a third front that was not just an electoral adjustment but based on certain programmes.

“Some parties are talking about a third front. We understand their views and motivation. But we wish to make it clear that a front doesn’t come into existence merely by the coming together of certain party leaders. This way an electoral adjustment may be possible.

“But the people don’t want some kind of an electoral adjustment that is there today and not there tomorrow. They want an alternative programme,” Bardhan said.