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Left parties flay US in Parliament
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 14, 2008 15:14 IST
The Left parties took strong exception to the statement issued by the United States rapping the West Bengal government for human rights violation in Nandigram [Images].
The Left parties have been objecting to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and asked the House to join him in condemning US attempt to bully the Left parties.
"The nation has a view on Nandigram, but we cannot allow the US government to interfere in the internal affairs of India. I condemn the US report," he said in a brief mention in the Lower House.
The speaker told the agitated members that they would be allowed to place their views on record after the finance minister finishes his reply on the vote on account.
Addressing a press conference, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Mohammad Salim said that someone can resort to armtwisting only if you let him hold your hand.
"George Bush [Images] cannot consider himself as the champion of human rights. There was a time when the Americans used to condemn China for its human rights violations, but it seems now that they have dropped China from that list and India has replaced China," Salim pointed out.
He accused the US administration of resorting to imperialist propaganda to run down a democratic government of West Bengal.
He said that as a Communist he was as much pained at the loss of human life.
Salim rejected US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher's view that the US government can sign the nuclear deal even with a minority government, indicating that even if the Left were to withdraw their support they would go ahead with the deal.
"We have clarified our position that the Indian government cannot sign the deal with the US government if it does not have support of its allies who have been supporting Manmohan Singh's [Images] government from within and outside. They initially said that the deal was beneficial to us and now they are too keen to offer us the deal," Salim said.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has called the Left parties for a meeting on March 17 to explain what steps the government has taken so far and how it proposes to go ahead on the nuclear deal in days to come.
The Left leaders know that they have time till May 2008 to decide whether to allow the government to sign the deal or not.