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CPI(M) for wider India-China-Russia cooperation

Staff Correspondent

But there is no scope for a strategic axis, says Prakash Karat


  • Creation of a multi-polar world is in the interest of India
  • Controversy around Iran n-programme must be resolved under the ambit of the International Atomic Energy Agency

    CHANDIGARH: While the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has favoured a wider trilateral cooperation and understanding among India, China and Russia, to check the growing trend of creating a unipolar comity of nations, it understands that there is no scope for a strategic axis, especially in the present international scenario.

    The viewpoint was expressed by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat while informally interacting with reporters after he presided over a meeting of the party's Punjab council here on Saturday. He said that while India-Russia relations had their own strength, recent indications of upgrading the China-India ties to a strategic level were quite appreciable.

    Mr. Karat said that while China was expected to emerge as a major economic power, India's potential was also being recognised at the international level. The creation of a multi-polar world was in the interest of India, he said.

    Responding to the appeal of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for joining together against Iran on the nuclear proliferation issue, Mr. Karat said India, China and Russia must consult each other before taking any official position. He said the controversy around Iran's nuclear programme must be resolved under the ambit of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Ties with Iran

    Mr. Karat said India could not allow its relations with Iran to be held hostage by the United States. He said that while Iran, a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) had rights to pursue its programme, India also had its energy needs. Iran has agreed to sell 5 million tonnes of LNG through a gas pipeline and another 2 million tonnes by ship, he pointed out.

    Regarding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting various world leaders during the U.N. General Assembly session, Mr. Karat appreciated the continuation of a positive trend in the improvement of ties between India and Pakistan. He said that along with bilateral efforts, the Union Government must hold more talks with representatives of all groups from different regions to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio. He favoured the opening of more routes to facilitate the exchange of people and increase the volume of trade with Pakistan.

    No poll alliance in Bihar

    Mr. Karat reiterated that the party would not have any formal alliance with the Congress in the Bihar elections and later in Punjab, while it would face the Congress' challenge in West Bengal and Kerala. In Bihar, while the party would have an arrangement with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), it would not form part of the RJD-Congress alliance. He discounted that the electoral dichotomy at the State level would have any impact on the future of the UPA Government at the Centre.

    On the issue of establishing a Dalit identity to counter the violence against the underprivileged sections, Mr. Karat said the party was contemplating replicating in the North some of the initiatives taken by it to organise the oppressed sections of society in the South. Reiterating the importance of class and caste struggles, the Communist leader opposed politics based on caste fissures.

    Job guarantee scheme

    Mr. Karat said the CPI(M) was quite satisfied with legislation on the Rural Employment Guarantee Act during the last session of Parliament. While expressing some reservations about the implementation of the programme, he appreciated that a beginning had been made to provide employment to the poor in rural areas.

    Mr. Karat said the party was awaiting an official communication from the Union Government regarding its assurance of shelving the plan to sell its equity in the Navratna PSUs.

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