'India has become slave of US', says Manishankar Aiyar at Indo-Russian event

Manishankar Aiyar's comments come weeks before Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in India. Ahead of Putin's visit on December 6, the defence ministry has cleared over 5,000 crore deal with Russia to manufacture 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.
File photo of Congress leader Manishankar Aiyar.(HT Photo)
File photo of Congress leader Manishankar Aiyar.(HT Photo)
Published on Nov 24, 2021 07:57 AM IST
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By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Congress leader Manishankar Aiyar attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government by saying that India has become a slave of the United States of America since 2014. He was speaking during an Indo-Russia friendship society on Tuesday.

"In the last seven years, we've seen that there is no talk of non-alignment and peace. We behave like we are slaves of Americans, begging for protection from China," said Aiyar.

"Our relation with Russia suffered a massive blow after 2014," he added. Aiyar further said the Congress is not in favour of whatever policy decisions the current dispensation is taking.

The Congress leader made an appeal to the government to mend ties with Russia.

"Russia (erstwhile USSR) was India's closest ally when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister. In fact, Indira became a Russia name. Many girls have been named after her, especially in Uzbekistan," said Aiyar.

He carried forward the attacks lodged by the Congress party, especially its former president Rahul Gandhi, by accusing the Centre of ceding Indian territory to China during the ongoing standoff in Ladakh. The Centre has denied these allegations and many leaders of the ruling BJP have launched counter-attacks, saying that "India knows how to give befitting reply to China, Pakistan or anti-national elements”.

Aiyar's comments come weeks before Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in India. He shares a very close relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and is making an exception during the Covid-19 time to visit a foreign country. Ahead of Putin's visit on December 6, the defence ministry has cleared over 5,000 crore deal with Russia to manufacture 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.

India has also received Russia-made two S-400 air defence system, which will be deployed on north and east borders of India beginning 2022 to balance the tactical disadvantage faced by the military after Chinese military's surprise May 2020 transgressions on 1,597-km Ladakh Line of Control (LAC).

India has been engaged in a border standoff with China in Ladakh since last year. The armies of both the countries engaged in a skirmish in June 2020 in which India lost 20 soldiers and the PLA too suffered an unknown number of casualties.

A number of talks between the two countries have taken place to end the standoff, but tension still continues in some areas along the LAC.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022