Left defends right to vote with BJP Cong can't judge us: Karat

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Delhi
  • Published 14.07.08
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New Delhi, July 14: The Left today unleashed a verbal volley at the UPA’s “obsession” with the nuclear deal, warning it would leave no stone unturned to defeat the July 22 trust vote in Parliament.

At the launch of a nationwide campaign against the deal and rising prices, Prakash Karat said the Congress had no right to “point fingers” if the Left chose to vote against the government along with the BJP.

The Congress had itself “conspired” and voted with the BJP to topple the secular governments of V.P. Singh, H.D. Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujral in the nineties, the CPM general secretary said.

But his CPI counterpart A.B. Bardhan clarified that the Left was not voting with the BJP but against the UPA. If the BJP, too, wanted to vote out the UPA, it had the right to do so.

“We have never said that we are voting with BJP. We have talked to other parties, not to BJP. If the other parties want to talk to us, we cannot push them out. We are voting against the UPA because of its policies.

“If the BJP wants to vote against (UPA), they have a right to do so. Those who voted along with BJP are now teaching us. We will continue to fight communal forces,” Bardhan said.

Karat said the Left had withdrawn support as it could not digest the fact that India was moving to become a “junior partner” to the US at a time the country was faced with inflation and rising prices.

Slamming the government for pursuing the nuclear deal despite being in “minority”, Karat said the Congress appeared to be in league with the US. “Congress ka haath America ke saath,” he said.

“The popularity of President George W. Bush in US is 20-25 per cent. He is the President of a minority. We have a Prime Minister who is heading a minority government. A minority President and minority Prime Minister are trying to hook this country to US hegemony.”

Claiming the government and the Congress were interested only in fulfilling their promise to Bush, he said: “It is their primary aim, and not tackling inflation or price rise.… We were tolerating them because we did not want BJP and other communal forces to come to power.”

He appeared to take a swipe at the Congress’s new friends in need, the Samajwadis, saying a party that had opposed the deal along with the Left not so long ago had now switched sides.

Karat claimed the US would use the deal to “pressure” India into opening up to MNCs, which would be “detrimental” in the long run. He said India would also have to surrender its foreign policy and toe the US line on international affairs if the deal came through.