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CPM pans US law, seeks House debate

CPI (M) says the US bill compromises India's pursuit of an independent foreign policy, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2006 02:16 IST

The government faces fresh trouble over the newly passed US legislation on the India-US nuclear deal. The CPI (M), the main component of the Left parties, on Monday said the legislation violated assurances Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave to Parliament, and therefore was “unacceptable”.

The party demanded a debate in Parliament within the framework of what Singh had said while replying to a list of Left’s questions and worries on August 17.

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said the US Congress did not take into account the prime minister’s assurances, neither substantially nor seriously. “The US legislation has failed to meet India’s concerns. The legislation by saying that India’s foreign policy should be congruent with US foreign policy is attempting to bind India with the US’s strategic interests,’’ Karat said.

Karat said the addition of two new provisions is an attempt to shift “goal posts’’ again. It was earlier said that in case the US fails to fulfil its obligation to supply fuel to India, it would help India arrange alternative fuel supplies from friendly countries. “This is now restricted only under conditions of market failures and does not cover deliberate US termination,’’ he said.

Karat added that the clause which talks of the US helping India build and maintain a strategic fuel reserve has been removed. “The final act explicitly bars any reserve other than normal operating reserves required to run our reactors,’’ he said.

The CPI(M) leader said that these issues should be raised again and discussed with the Bush administration. “Till these issues are addressed, we do not want the negotiations to proceed,” Karat said.

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First Published: Dec 11, 2006 21:51 IST