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Left to finalise joint statement today

The Left parties are expected to finalise a joint statement on the India-US nuclear deal at a meeting on Thursday, reports Srinand Jha.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2007 01:11 IST
Srinand Jha

The Left parties are expected to finalise a joint statement on the India-US nuclear deal at a meeting on Thursday.



To be submitted at the next meeting of the UPA-Left committee on September 19, the joint note is likely to reiterate the position that several provisions of the Hyde Act run contrary to assurances provided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in August 2006 and that the deal is likely to adversely affect India's pursuit of an independent foreign policy and strategic autonomy.



Interestingly, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has trashed the deal once again in a book containing a collection of articles penned by him over the last two years. In one of the articles, he says it would be a mistake to "see the nuclear cooperation deal in isolation from the overall context of the strategic alliance (with the US), which involves quid pro quo".



Citing India's vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an instance of the quid pro quo, he said "the Prime Minister's oft-repeated claims that India's foreign policy would not change due to the nuclear deal, is not borne out by his government's record."



Meanwhile, Karat has requested the Prime Minister's intervention to ensure speedy notification of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2006.



The announcement of the Act without its notification has led to a serious situation for tribals in many areas and forest officials responsible for denial of tribal rights have taken advantage of the delay between the Act and its notification to evict tribals from many areas, Karat said in a letter to the Prime Minister on Tuesday.



Land cultivated by tribals for decades is being dug up for plantations by the forest department in some states in an obvious attempt to preempt the recognition of tribal rights on that land, he added.