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'WikiLeaks cables a sad and revealing commentary'

March 24, 2011 22:11 IST

Noting that the WikiLeaks cables were a 'sad and revealing' commentary of where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress have landed the country in, the Communist Party of India – Marxist has said Americans were willing to do everything to win the trust vote during the United Progressive Alliance government's regime so that the nuclear deal could go through.

CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat said the cables show that the Americans are keen observers of the high level of corruption that exists in India's political system.

"Understandably, the cable which reports that huge amounts of money were being used for buying Members of Parliament of the Opposition during the confidence vote in July 2008 has caused a furore," he said.

"The Americans were willing for the Manmohan Singh government to do everything to win the vote, so that the nuclear deal goes through. Any means, fair or foul, was acceptable for the Americans," Karat said in an article in party mouthpiece People's Democracy.

Noting that the cable also provides a "graphic and accurate" account of how Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam distributed money to voters, he said, "With such knowledge, the Americans have a correct measure of the corrupt politicians and how they can purchase them for their purposes."

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the coterie of officers around him, who touted the nuclear deal as the next biggest thing to happen to India since independence, were actually advancing America's interests, more than safeguarding the interests of the country," he said.

"As the cables make it clear, the United States was after not just the commercial benefit of a few billion dollars in the sale of nuclear reactors but getting India firmly on its side as a strategic ally," he said.

Karat alleged the prime minister and Congress leadership were trying to "brazen out" these exposures.

"They make the claim that these cables are unverifiable and cannot be treated as authentic. This is a pathetic excuse when everyone knows that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself rang up the Indian foreign minister to warn him about the leakage of these cables and the consequent embarrassment they may cause," he said.

"The Wikileaks cables are a sad and revealing commentary of where Manmohan Singh and the Congress leadership have landed the country," he added.

In an editorial in People's Democracy, the CPI-M said the UPA government should be forced to probe all aspects exposed by the WikiLeaks, which point towards an active US effort to influence India's policy framework to consolidate neo-liberal economic policies.

"The government must be forced to do this in order to safeguard and strengthen our parliamentary democracy," the editorial said.

He said the government was forced to hold a short discussion in both Houses of Parliament on the WikiLeaks exposure. This parliamentary discussion, however, was only limited to the cash-for-votes episode in 2008.

"This was so because the Bharatiya Janata Party has moved a privilege motion against the prime minister on the ground that he misled Parliament by saying that there was no corruption involved, according to the report of the cash-for-vote probe committee constituted by the 14th Lok Sabha. We shall return to the facts of this matter later," it said.

In the process, it became clear that both Congress and BJP were avoiding a discussion on the larger issue of how India was trying to cement Indo-US strategic relationship and the consequent "direct US interference" in to the internal affairs of India as exposed by WikiLeaks.

"They are thus deliberately missing the woods for the trees", the editorial said.

"This is, however, not surprising," the article said, adding the foundations for a strategic alliance with the US were laid by the Atal Bihari Vajpayye-led National Democratic Alliance government.

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