Raja warns UPA Govt on Iran issue
COMMUNIST PARTY of India (CPI) secretary D Raja on Wednesday warned that the UPA Government would face “serious consequences” from Left parties if it voted against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting slated to be held in Vienna on February 2.
He, however, declined to comment on what form the “consequences” might take or whether these could include withdrawal of support to the UPA.
The warning comes a day after top Left leaders wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling for India to abstain if the issue came up for voting at the IAEA meeting.
“The US has no right to dictate policies and the Government should not succumb to pressure tactics,” declared the CPI secretary while addressing media persons in Indore. He was accompanied by general secretary, All India Bank Officers’ Association, RG Sridharan.
“UPA should not repeat the mistakes of September (when it sided with the US on the Iran nuclear issue)”, said Raja, in the City to attend the sixth triennial conference of the All India State Bank of Indore Officers’ Co-ordination Committee.
Asked if toeing the US line would result in the UPA losing the Left’s support the CPI apparatchik was evasive. “The final
course of action will be decided only after the vote,” he said.
Speaking on domestic matters CPI secretary Raja candidly admitted that the Left had a major problem with the UPA Government’s fiscal policies, particularly disinvestment, “right from day one”.
Elaborating, he pointed to the move to allow FDI in the retail sector. “We strongly opposed this as the retail industry generates the largest employment opportunities after agriculture.”
Ill-thought out disinvestment moves also posed a security threat. “The proposed privatisation of the mint where currency coins are melted is a case in point.”
The CPI secretary, however, endorsed the Right to Information and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Acts and the Women’s Reservation Bill. “In fact, we suggested that the Government implement the latter throughout the country instead of restricting it to 200 districts as has been done in the first phase.”
The Communist leader recommended introducing the Women’s Reservation Bill to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in Parliament and State assemblies. “The Government has waited long enough and the Act should be tabled in Parliament. When it comes to a vote those who are opposed to the bill shall automatically be unmasked,” he pointed out.