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CPI-M to target 'unwritten agenda' in India-US deal

The Left parties, led by the CPI-M, are set to be quite critical of the ruling UPA when the proposed India-US nuclear deal comes up for discussion in the monsoon session of parliament.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 31, 2007 03:13 AM IST

The Left parties, led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), are set to be quite critical of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) when the proposed India-US nuclear deal comes up for discussion in the monsoon session of parliament.

CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury told IANS: "When the issue comes up (for debate in parliament), we will question whether there is an unwritten agenda."

This is notwithstanding the fact that last week, at a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Left seemed to have meekly accepted the deal without much ado.

In fact, a candid Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary AB Bardhan admitted later: "There was not much to criticise in the deal."

But Yechury indicated that his party might still question the UPA government for its growing proximity with the US-Israeli axis.

The CPI-M line on the issue is visible in the latest edition of the party organ People's Democracy.

The magazine has carried a strident criticism of the government's foreign policy by former diplomat MK Bhadrakumar, blaming it for distancing itself from China and Russia and instead developing defence cooperation with the US and Israel.

The weekly says: "The UPA government is diligently following up on a task that the previous NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government had left incomplete - making India and the US 'natural allies' in the 21st century. The UPA government decision to chariot India into the so-called quadripartite format comprising the US, Japan, Australia, is a turning point in the Indian foreign policy."

It said: "India is thereby stepping out to fill a gap in the US's Asian strategy. The format has no political rationale except that of 'ganging up' against China."

It further said: "From the viewpoint of the neo-conservative ideology that guides the present US administration's policies, Delhi's induction into the US strategic orbit is highly desirable."

The CPI-M write up predicts, "It is likely that the UPA government in its remaining period in office would unveil three major decisions in the foreign and security policies," describing these as "massive expansion of its military cooperation programme with the US..; second the resultant 'inter-operability' of the two air forces (Indian and US) will pave the way for India to become a participant in the US' so-called ant-ballistic missile system" and "third, New Delhi will accordingly calibrate its relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)".

Referring to the recent call by the US naval carrier Nimitz at Chennai port, the magazine said this was a benchmark. "As the UPA government and the Bush administration work hard at closing the Indo-US nuclear deal, the country may expect more such surprises," it said.

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