US 'blackmailing' India: Bardhan
CPI general secretary AB Bardhan on Saturday alleged that the US has started "blackmailing" India for getting the civil nuclear deal signed before July, which would be stiffly opposed by the Left parties.
Earlier the US was applying pressure tactics and now it has started "blackmailing" India by threatening to block the possibilities of nuclear co-operation with Russia and other countries, he said while inaugurating the 20th state conference of the CPI in Thissur.
"Senior American officials and diplomats like Nicholas Burns and Robert Gates had earlier visited India to exert pressure on the government for materialisation of the 123 Agreement. They are now threatening that if the nuclear deal was not signed, our deals with Russia and France would also be blocked," Bardhan said.
The Left would not allow the government to undermine the country's sovereignty, self-determination and self reliance by entering into a strategic partnership with the US, he said.
Dubbing the Union budget as "election-oriented statistical jugglery," he said the government was silent on how burning issues like price rise were going to be tackled.
Announcement of debt waiver would not help farmers greatly as it was done without enough preparation like creating a debt relief commission and new loan schemes at lower rates, he said.
Accusing the UPA Government of ignoring farmers for the last four years, he said 30 per cent of farmers in India were indebted to private money lenders and speculators.
On the possibilities of a third front, he said the Left was now aiming to give shape to a "third alternative," based on pro-people programmes as opposed to the policies of the Congress and BJP.