CPI-M attacks PM over ‘bonded slave’ remark

July 24th, 2008 - 10:20 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his remarks that the Left had made him a “bonded slave” during the four years it supported the government and also wondered if there was “more than meets the eye” in the “easy availability” of BJP/NDA MPs during Tuesday’s trust vote. “In his speech, the prime minister has accused the Left parties of wanting to treat him as a ‘bonded slave’. Strange that it took him over four years of being the prime minister on the strength of the support of the Left parties to hurl such accusations!” the CPI-M has said in its latest editorial in ‘People’s Democracy’, the party’s mouthpiece.

“They (Left parties) wanted a veto over every single step of negotiations (of the India-US civil nuclear deal) which is not acceptable. They wanted me to behave as their bonded slave,” the prime minister said in his reply on the concluding day of the special session on the trust vote, which was won by the UPA government.

Joining issue with the prime minister, the CPI-M editorial said: “For over four years, the Left parties supported this UPA government on the basis of a Common Minimum Programme. Not to anybody, but to this CMP, the PM and the UPA government should have been a ‘bonded slave’.”

“Instead, many a promise made in the CMP has not been initiated. Those that have been initiated, happened with great reluctance. Only because of the pressure of the Left parties did the rural employment guarantee, forest rights for tribals, and the right to information find a legal status,” said the CPI-M.

“On each of these, the Manmohan Singh government showed a great deal of reluctance and their implementation is tardy, inadequate and mired in large-scale corruption,” stressed the party.

The Left parties withdrew support to the Manmohan Singh government following its resolve to push through the India-US civil nuclear deal.

Accusing the prime minister of rushing through the deal, the CPI-M has said: “What explains the desperate eagerness to rush the India-US nuclear deal, particularly when this deal does not even figure in the CMP? There can be only one explanation. Since he has chosen to describe himself as a ‘bonded slave’, he appears to have chosen his master as well!”

Under flak from various quarters for voting with the “communal” opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the CPI-M has raised a question mark over the party’s opposition to the nuclear deal.

“A large number of the BJP and NDA MPs have voted in favour of the government, or, abstained. As the brazen horse-trading is utterly contemptible, so is the eager display of ‘availability’ of the BJP/NDA MPs. Or, is there something more than that meets the eye?” asked the CPI-M

“Given its pro-US imperialist stand, the BJP’s opposition to this India-US deal was often seen more as posturing than real opposition. Did the BJP/NDA, therefore, turn a blind eye to allow the government to win the vote? And, in the bargain, allow some of its MPs to make money? Over a period of time, these questions will surely be answered,” underlined the party.

Hitting out at the UPA government for its “brazen horse-trading”, the CPI-M pointed out that this was the “first time that the prime minister could not reply to the debate prior to the vote. Manmohan Singh laid a copy of his speech on the table of the House, amidst protests by the members against such immoral horse-trading.”

“Parliamentary democracy in independent India has reached the lowest depths of political immorality during the voting on the confidence motion moved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” said the editorial. “The PM may have won the vote, but his government has lost the trust of the nation,” it added.

“A rigged majority in the Lok Sabha through brazen horse-trading can, in no way, be considered as an endorsement for the India-US nuclear deal. The UPA government has, thus, no moral authority to carry forward the deal,” said the party.

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