The CPI-M on Sunday said the Left parties would never join the “pro-imperialist” BJP to oppose the Indo-US civil nuclear deal or topple the UPA government. Party general secretary Prakash Karat’s statement was an attempt to correct the popular perception that the Left is on the same side as the saffron party on the issue.
Karat was also reacting to BJP president Rajnath Singh’s remarks on Saturday that the Left’s refusal to join hands with the BJP was proof that it wasn’t serious about opposing the deal. “The CPI-M is certain not to have any truck with such a pro-imperialist party,” the Marxist leader said.
The UPA-Left standoff on the deal had emboldened the BJP to call for political solidarity with its worst ideological rival. It had asked the Left to choose between power and national interest and withdraw support to the Congress-led government. Leader of the Opposition LK Advani had even taken the unprecedented step of calling up Karat and sending him a copy of the BJP’s draft note for a discussion on the issue, under a voting rule, in Lok Sabha. To that, the CPM said it would thrash out its own strategy in the House.
The Left parties are convinced the BJP’s opposition to the deal is mere posturing as it is neither against a strategic partnership nor military cooperation with the United States. CPM Central Committee member Nilotpal Basu said: “They have never spoken against US imperialism. They, in fact, started the process of the nuclear deal.” In contrast, the Left parties want the deal scrapped because they feel the 123 Agreement is rooted in the Hyde Act, the India-specific US domestic law that does not augur well for New Delhi’s sovereignty in matters of foreign policy.