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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stand by pledge given to UPA: Karat tells Govt.

Madurai, Sept. 21 (PTI): The CPI(M) on Thurday night suggested that the central government has to choose between the commitments given to UPA or go by "dictates" of the United States on the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal.

Though the CPI(M) had asked the government not to proceed with the nuclear deal for the next six months, "a junior-level American official was asking the government to take a decision," CPI(M) General Secretary, Prakash Karat, said addressing a meeting after unveiling the statue of veteran Communist leader, P Ramamoorthy.

"Whether government will stand by the commitment given to the UPA and the people, or act as per the dictates of the US official....is not known," he said.

Karat said his party would try to convince the UPA government that the Indo-US nuclear deal was aginst the interests of the country and ask it not to proceed further.

"The deal will affect India's sovereignty, interests of the country and its people and we will campaign against the deal through out the country. It is left to the government to decide whether to go ahead with the agreement or not," he said.

"The Communist party, which supported non-alignment policy of the government and fought against American imperialism, would not agree to any type of strategic alliance with the USA - whether it is nuclear deal or otherwise," he said.

Karat said the CPI(M) opposed the deal because majority of the MPs opposed to it and the government was not even willing for a debate.

Besides, the cost of nuclear power would be four times higher than the cost of thermal power. "Setting up 20 nuclear plants will be like setting up 20 Enron companies which priced the cost of power at Rs 5 to 7 per unit," he said.

By signing a 40-year deal with the "undependable America, India will become America's slave for 40-years following their policies - whether it is foreign relation or economy," Karat alleged.

While the Left was not opposed to nuclear power, Karat said "the government should study the economics, cost and environmental impact before giving its green signal."

"Even now, America is dictating terms, like India should not import gas from Iran and the gas pipeline project should be shelved. It is also mounting pressure on the government on foreign direct investment in sectors like insurance, bank and agriculture, he said.

He said CPI(M) would oppose disinvestment in any public sector or government undertaking which earned profit.

Critcising the import of wheat at Rs 1600 per quintal, he said while the government was offering Rs 850 per quintal for Indian farmers, it was paying more for imported wheat.

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