CPI-M says Third Front will review n-deal, accuses UPA of betrayal (Second Lead)

March 16th, 2009 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Accusing the UPA government of the “biggest betrayal” by forging a strategic alliance with the US, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Monday said it would “review and rework” the India-US nuclear deal.
While unveiling the party’s election manifesto, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, a key player in an emerging Third Front of non-Congress and non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parties, also promised an independent foreign policy if it comes to power.

“The biggest betrayal by the Manmohan Singh government was to forge a strategic alliance with the US and to resile from the commitment to pursue an independent foreign policy,” Karat said.

Fiercely opposing strategic and military collaboration with the US, Karat accused the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government of following “the US-Israel axis”.

If a Third Front government came to power, it would scrap the defence framework deal with the US. “Firstly, the defence framework agreement with the US will be scrapped. There will not be military collaboration with the US.”

Karat said that a Third Front government would “review and rework” the India-US civil nuclear deal signed by the Manmohan Singh government.

All the partners (Third Front) who met here Sunday are committed against the nuclear deal, the CPI-M leader said.

“This government claimed shortage of uranium as the prime reason for the nuclear deal. But the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report proves that the country has enough uranium reserves.”

The Left parties withdrew support to the UPA last year over differences on the India-US nuclear deal.

Karat warned that the people would have to shell out more to buy electricity from nuclear power plants that the government was planning to import from the US. “This is a cruel joke when the cost of electricity from an imported nuclear plant will be Rs.8 per unit - far out of the reach of the common people,” said the party’s manifesto.

“The Congress-led government signed the nuclear deal with the US with

conditions no self-respecting government should accept,” the manifesto added.

Seeking to differentiate itself from the Congress-led UPA, the CPi-M manifesto unveiled the vision of “an independent and non-aligned foreign policy, which defends India from imperialist pressures” and promoteS multipolarity in international relation.

Scathingly critical of the the US-sponsored war on terror and Washington’s military interventions in other countries, the party said it would strengthen multilateral forums like the UN to deal with all disputes between countries and push for democratisation of the UN Security Council.

The party’s manifesto promises to resume India-Pakistan dialogue at a suitable time and to promote people to people relations between the two countries.

The party seeks to pursue diplomatic and political efforts to protect the lives of Tamil people in the war zone in Sri Lanka and work for an immediate political settlement based on autonomy for the Tamil speaking areas within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.

The CPI-M also contested claims of the Manmohan Singh government of supporting the Palestinian cause - an issue that has some resonance for Muslims in the country.

“The Manmohan Singh government has pursued the US-Israel-India axis, an idea mooted by the BJP-led government. It has entered into deep security and military collaboration with Israel. Israel has become the biggest supplier of weapons to India and the billions of dollars spent by India helps Israel suppress the Palestinian people,” the party manifesto said.

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