Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Registering its strong opposition to the next round of India-U.S. joint naval exercises on the west coast, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday said that the Left parties and other democratic forces would organise big protests against the Malabar exercises slated for October.

In a statement, the Polit Bureau said the joint exercise would see USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear weapon-equipped aircraft carrier, lead the U.S. naval contingent. It said the Manmohan Singh Government should not allow any nuclear-equipped ships into the Indian ports or territorial waters.

Earlier, the Congress-led government had allowed the USS Nimitz, which is also a nuclear weapon ship, to dock in Chennai. “Such military exercises are part of the growing military collaboration with the U.S. which is resorting to aggressive military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and now targeting Iran.”

Since it signed the Defence Framework Agreement with the U.S., the Manmohan Singh government had been working to integrate India’s armed forces with that of the United States, the statement said.

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