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'Bush is not certainly welcome in India'
Archana Masih in New Delhi | February 27, 2006 17:32 IST
Last Updated: February 27, 2006 17:35 IST
It's not as if George W Bush will receive the perfect Indian welcome when he arrives in India on Wednesday for his three-day visit.
The Sanskrit saying Atithi Devi Bhava (A guest is like god may go down well by the tourism ministry, but for the Committee Against Bush Visit the American President is a most unwelcome guest.
"Bush is the topmost official of US imperialism, leading enemy of sovereignty. He is the leader of the imperialist quest of neo colonial domination and he is certainly not welcome in India," read out Communist Party of India General Secretary A B Bardhan from a press note circulated to the media at a press conference at the Press Club in New Delhi.
Others presiding over the press conference were Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat, Communist Party of India National Secretary Doraiswamy Raja, Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh and others from parties taking part in a protest march against Bush on March 2.
Eight parties -– the CPI-M, CPI-Marxist Leninist, CPI, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal- Secular, India Justice Party, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party -– are participating in the march, which will begin from the capital's Ramlila Maidan at 11.30 am on Thursday.
The Committee Against the Bush Visit have obtained permission from the Delhi police for only a three-kilometre route. It is still negotiating permission for four more kilometres up to Jantar Mantar.
After the parties declared they would mobilise 40,000 people in the protest rally, the Delhi police asked them to reduce the size of the march, the Committee's organisers claimed.
"The police cannot determine the size of the marchers," Prakash Karat said.
The estimated number of protestors varied from 10,000 to 40,000, according to those present at the conference.
Bardhan said the government was "shamefully succumbing to US imperialist pressures and India's foreign policy has been threatened by India lining up behind the US inspired vote against Iran."
"Threats by US ambassador on the Iran vote issue, US opposition to the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline or the joint Indo-Chinese venture in Syrian oilfields and the craven response of the Indian government further highlights this threat," Bardhan added.
The Committee highlighted why it was opposed to Bush:
The protest march will include speeches by its leaders, distribution of pamphlets and burning of Bush effigies. The parties have relayed to their state organisations to hold similar rallies in state capitals, barring Hyderabad, where the rally will be organised on the day of Bush's visit there on March 3.
By the time this rally begins in New Delhi, Bush will have already visited Rajghat without any disruption.