Special Correspondent

“Left opposition to nuclear deal not similar to that of BJP”

Blames Congress for collapse of arrangement

BJP took crucial steps for India to become

a strategic partner of U.S.

KOLKATA: The withdrawal of support by the Left parties to the United Progressive Alliance government “does not mean that there will be any sort of slackening” in their fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party and other communal forces, Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has said.

In an article published in Tuesday’s edition of the Ganashakti, the daily organ of the West Bengal unit of the CPI(M), Mr. Karat said the CPI(M) had been vehemently opposing the BJP’s pro-U.S. line aimed at setting up a strategic partnership. The Left opposition to the India-U.S. nuclear deal had no similarity with that of the BJP

Due to its pro-U.S. policy the BJP could not consistently oppose the nuclear deal and the strategic partnership with the U.S., Mr. Karat said.

That was why the CPI(M) and other Left parties have been able to establish themselves as consistent advocates of national sovereignty and an independent foreign policy.

During the six years that the BJP was heading the government at the Centre it had taken many crucial steps so that India could become a strategic partner of the U.S.

The then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had declared India as a natural ally of the U.S. BJP leader L.K. Advani had visited the CIA office in Washington and taken steps to arrange for security cooperation, Mr. Karat pointed out.

It was the BJP-led government that had taken the first steps to open dialogue with the U.S. government on the nuclear deal as part of the “Next Steps in the Strategic Partnership,” he added.

Mr. Karat blamed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his party for the collapse of the arrangement that had facilitated the setting up of a secular government at the Centre by moving ahead with the nuclear deal.

He said the Left parties had withdrawn support to the government as they could never compromise on such an important issue in which the involvement of American imperialism was so pronounced.

Political implications

The CPI(M) was opposing the deal as it was part of a conspiracy to bind India into a strategic relationship with the U.S. — one that had political, military and economic implications, Mr. Karat said.