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Home > News > PTI

Consequences will follow if Left concerns are ignored: Bardhan

September 08, 2007 18:00 IST

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The Indo-US nuclear tango

Sending out a strong message to the United Progressive Alliance, the Communist Party of India on Saturday warned that "consequences will follow" if the government ignores the Left parties' concerns about the India-United States nuclear agreement.

"If they accept, well and good. If they don't, consequences will follow," CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said in Visakhapatnam [Images] on Saturday, ahead of a rally to protest the multi-nation naval exercises being held off the coast of this port city.

"What will happen if the government does not take it (the committee constituted to address the Left's concerns about the nuclear deal) seriously and does not listen, is a matter we will discuss among the Left parties later on," he said.

"We have been successfully making the government realise that our objections have to be discussed. They cannot be brushed aside. You cannot bulldoze. You will have to pause. You will have to consider our objections. That's why that committee was set up," Bardhan said.

Speaking about how long the Left will continue to support the government, he said, "We will think of it".

He added that whether a mid-term poll will be held or not, "depends on the party which is running the government."

However, Bardhan evaded a direct reply about whether the government has given any assurance that Department of Atomic Energy chief Anil Kakodkar will not discuss the nuclear deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency during his visit to Vienna next week. He merely said that the agreement could not be operationalised till the findings of the UPA-Left committee are out.

Slamming the multi-nation naval exercises off the coast of Visakhapatnam, Bardhan alleged that India is being dragged into becoming a strategic ally of the United States.

"Only today, the Japanese government has appealed to India to join this trilateral alliance. Against whom this alliance is directed? Bay of Bengal is a sea of peace. It is being converted into a military field. We have been pointing out that India is being dragged into this, a strategic ally of the US," he said.

"Our foreign policy is one of an independent policy and of political non-alignment. The Common Minimum Programme says India will pursue multi-lateralism. Is this the way we are doing that?"

Earlier, the two jathas led by Bardhan and Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat, from Kolkata and Chennai respectively, converged here.

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