UPA government’s ‘biggest betrayal’ on foreign policy, says Karat (Lead)

March 16th, 2009 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) The Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had betrayed the country on foreign policy and backtracked on non-alignment, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here Monday.
Lashing out at the UPA government in a speech that touched on a range of issues, Karat said: “The biggest betrayal has been on foreign policy. The Manmohan Singh government has turned its back on a non-aligned foreign policy.”

Promising an independent foreign policy, Karat said while releasing the party’s manifesto for the coming Lok Sabha polls: “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.”

Karat, whose CPI-M withdrew support to the UPA last year over differences on the India-US nuclear deal, 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.

Criticising the UPA for its “nakedly pro-rich” policies, Karat said the country needs an “alernative secular government”.

“We have spelled out alternative policies and want the new government to follow them. We need a non-Congress non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alternative government,” he said, adding that the party manifesto promises a pro-people economic policy, better deal for the oppressed, including dalits, adivasis and the minority, and a secular government.

“We place the UPA squarely responsible for this unacceptable growing divide between a handful of rich people and vast masses of our people.”

Referring to the public distribution system (PDS), Karat said the Manmohan Singh-led government had weakened it instead of strengthening it.

According to the CPI-M general secretary, the government had adopted an “attitude of hesitation and compromise” on communal issues. He referred to attacks on minorities in Kandhamal in Orissa and in Karnataka.

“We know the Congress will claim credit for the NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act). But we were the one who introduced the major important changes in the draft. The draft the Congress was passing was useless,” said Karat, adding that the changes had been listed in the manifesto.

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