Left parties’ withdrawal anti-national: Vasant Sathe

July 17th, 2008 - 2:22 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Nagpur, July 17 (IANS) Former central government minister Vasant Sathe has described the Left parties’ withdrawal of support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on the India-US nuclear deal as “anti-national” in line with “many of their past decisions”. “The Indian communist parties have a long history of taking wrong and patently anti-national decisions. They do it in haste and repent in leisure,” Sathe told reporters at a meet-the-press programme organised by the Nagpur Union of Working Journalists here Wednesday.

Delivering a broadside at the Left parties, the former trade union leader, known for his strong socialist leanings in his formative years, recalled how communists opposed the 1942 Quit India movement preferring to be on the side of the British, and dubbing Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose a “fascist dog”.

“They realised their mistake later and hailed the leader of the Azad Hind Sena as a national hero,” Sathe reminded the present generation of communists, who have since had a long alliance with Netaji’s Forward Bloc.

“The Left parties stand exposed once again for their double standards,” said the octogenarian former information and broadcasting minister, pointing out that they were silent when China signed the 123 Agreement with the US with far more stringent conditions.

The Left parties’ eagerness to pull down the UPA government even if it is tantamount to joining hands with their sworn enemies the Bharatiya Janata Party highlights their confusion, Sathe remarked.

Putting up a strong defence of the nuclear deal, Sathe said cooperation from the countries in the nuclear club would be guaranteed to India the moment it signs the safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“On the other hand, India will ill-afford to remain isolated in a world surrounded by nuclear-power nation states,” Sathe said, pointing out that Russia, Australia and France have told New Delhi that they may not be able to extend any cooperation for generation of nuclear energy if it did not sign the deal.

The veteran loyalist of the Indira Gandhi family, whose latest book, “India to be a Global Power”, was recently released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was confident about the UPA government winning the July 22 confidence vote but advised its leaders to go in for elections soon after that.

“Managing the new coalition of parties supporting the government for a long time could prove to be quite a tightrope walk, and so it would be advisable to hold elections at the earliest opportunity after winning the trust vote,” Sathe said. He also advised the Congress not to make the nuclear deal an election issue.

“People won’t be interested in going into the nitty-gritty of the nuclear deal. It would be enough for them to be convinced that the deal is in the national interest and would ease the country’s power crisis in order to support the party in the elections,” he said.

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