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Karat: nuclear deal will erode independent foreign policy

CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan and CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat at the birth centenary function of the former Parliamentarian, Hiren Mukherjee, in Kolkata on Saturday.

CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan and CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat at the birth centenary function of the former Parliamentarian, Hiren Mukherjee, in Kolkata on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: PTI/ Swapan Mahapatra

Special Correspondent

Blames oil price rise on imperialist designs to control energy reserves

KOLKATA: India’s trajectory of development on an independent basis with an independent foreign policy that retains strategic autonomy will be imperiled if the country goes into a defence and military alliance, a strategic and economic partnership and a civilian nuclear deal with the United States, Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI(M), said here on Saturday.

The India- U.S. deal “will greatly erode independent foreign policy and the country’s strategic autonomy,” he said while speaking at a function to commemorate the birth centenary of Hiren Mukherjee.

“Ensuring that an independent foreign policy, strategic autonomy and interests of the country are protected and defended will be a great tribute to the memory of Comrade Mukherjee,” Mr. Karat added.

“Today, there is talk of the nuclear deal with the U.S. and it is argued that it is essential for our energy security. But the safeguard agreement with the U.S., instead of ensuring energy security will be detrimental to our energy needs.

“We would like to believe that what he [Professor Mukherjee] stood for is relevant and meaningful in today’s world….We should understand that imperialism continues to be a reality and exercises its malevolent influence in world affairs.”

Behind the rise in oil prices worldwide were the designs of imperialism to re-order West Asia by controlling its energy reserves, Mr. Karat said. Oil supplies from the region were being severely disrupted by “the single-minded quest of a superpower to remake the map of West Asia.”

He said: “In our country today, it is not possible to talk about inflation and the huge burden of an increase in oil prices on our economy without seeing the role of imperialism in price rise and inflation.”

Vital impact

The strategic alliance being talked of between India and the U.S. has a vital bearing on the course India would take in the coming years, Mr. Karat said.

“The India-U.S. nuclear agreement is anchored in the Hyde Act, which has so many prescriptive clauses about our sovereignty,” A.B. Bardhan, general secretary of the CPI, said.

Describing Professor Mukherjee as a “great parliamentarian, a great historian and above all a communist,” Mr. Bardhan pointed out that though he belonged to the CPI, he espoused the cause of communist unity “and was not a partisan.” He said: “Let us hope that his cry from his heart will someday come to fruition.”

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee recalled that Professor Mukherjee used to underline the need for governments to direct their efforts towards the emancipation of the poor.

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