Left slams US for pressuring India

Updated on Feb 11, 2008 05:22 PM IST
A senior Left leader reacts sharply to Mulford's "now or never" remarks, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.
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Hindustan Times | BySutirtho Patranobis, New Delhi

The Left parties on Sunday attacked the United States for apparently applying pressure on India into signing the India-US civilian nuclear deal.

Senior Left leader reacted sharply to the US Ambassador to India David C Mulford's "now or never" remarks on Saturday. They said the US cannot use pressure tactics or threaten India for pushing through the deal.

Currently, Indian negotiators are engaged in talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on India-specific safeguards. But once the negotiations are over, the result would have to be put up to UPA-Left political committee set up to resolve their differences on the deal. It is very unlikely that Left would give the government a go-ahead to the next step of going to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

D Raja, CPI's Rajya Sabha MP, said that India couldn't be forced to taking important steps by other governments. He added that India was a sovereign nation with a parliamentary system and cannot be forced into taking a decision under pressure or veiled threats. The CPI leader said the US Ambassador's remarks that if the deal was not processed in the present Congress it would not be offered to India again amounted to "intimidation".

Raja said India was developing its own nuclear technology and looking for alternative sources like uranium and thorium.

The All India Forward Block (AIFB) accused Mulford of "threatening" India and said India should not sign any deal that was US-specific. General Secretary Debrabrata Biswas told reporters in Chennai that his party would withdraw support to the Centre if it operationalised the 123 Agreement to get the nuclear deal through.

"Who is this Mulford? Why is he threatening India on the issue? We will not compromise on our stand and allow the government to finalise the deal," agencies quoted Biswas as saying.

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