A report head-lined, ‘West Bengal's pro-business Chief Minister reaches out,' published in The Hindu, dated April 3, 2011, carried certain revelations from the unclassified official cable [128590: sensitive] of discussions between Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and the then U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, at a meeting here in October 2007.
The cable, sent under the name of the then U.S. Consul-General in Kolkata, Henry V. Jardine, on November 4, 2007, was accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks.
Mr. Bhattacharjee issued a statement here on Monday, referring to the report. It is as follows:
“My attention has been drawn to the reported reference to my discussion with Harry Paulson, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, in October, 2007. This was allegedly revealed in the WikiLeaks exposure of cables from the U.S. embassy.
“It surprises me that my conscious reiteration of the publicly stated policies of our government and our party has been one-sidedly represented by the author of the cable. Hence, it is obviously a distorted account of our discussion.
“It is well-known that while we are opposed to neo-liberal globalisation and liberalisation, we cannot insulate ourselves from its impact. Therefore, we “engage” with this process to protect the working people from its anti-poor consequences. It is apparent that the author of the cable has misrepresented this.
“On the WTO process, our stand has been to fight for a more equitable arrangement and paradigm. This has been partially reflected in the said cable.
“Finally, on the question of investment, it has been our long-stated public position that we have a positive attitude towards private investment, including foreign investment, for augmenting production and productive capacity, technology accrual and, most importantly, employment generation. On Dow Chemicals, I had pointed out that subject to Dow Chemicals owning up responsibility for compensating the victims of the Bhopal disaster, we want the company to invest in the proposed chemical hub project. Quite clearly, the aspect of the responsibility of Dow Chemicals has been left out in the cable.
“I am constrained to clarify these issues as otherwise my views expressed in the discussion will tend to create confusion, given the distorted and one-sided account.”