The CPI(M) today said the WikiLeaks' latest release in which the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi described Prakash Karat as an “extortionist” confirmed its apprehension that Washington was pressuring New Delhi to weaken its independent foreign policy.

“It confirms our apprehension that the U.S. was pressurising India to weaken and destroy its independent foreign policy,” party leader Nilotpal Basu said.

“It is very clear from the WikiLeaks that the U.S. Embassy was interfering in our internal politics to influence decision—making in India,” CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters.

Mr. Karat said it was no secret that Americans have been interfering in India’s political system.

The U.S. Embassy was critical of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and described Mr. Karat as an “extortionist” in a cable that discussed the political scenario in November 2007 -- days before the Indo—U.S. nuclear agreement was to be debated and voted in Parliament.

The cable says: “The Congress party, led by Sonia Gandhi, has proven especially cautious and nervous in the face of recent extortionist tactics by Prakash Karat. With two huge confrontations in its future -- Parliament and Gujarat -- it will remain true to its cautious form by seeking first to gauge its levels of support before finally being forced -- if absolutely needed -- to take action.”

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