Left parties not to boycott Obama`s address to Parliament

Left parties will not boycott US Pesident Barack Obama`s address to Parliament but use his visit to showcase their opposition to American policies by organising demonstration across the country.

New Delhi: Left parties will not boycott
US Pesident Barack Obama`s address to Parliament but use his
visit to showcase their opposition to American policies by
organising demonstration across the country.

"We are not boycotting any joint session of Parliament
which he will address but we are definitely going to use the
occasion of his trip to reiterate our opposition to some of
the policies of the US government," CPI(M) General Secretary
Prakash Karat said here today.

When President George W Bush undertook a landmark
visit to India in 2006, his schedule did not include address
to Parliament after the Left parties announced that they will
disrupt his speech.

"I think there is a difference between Bush and
Obama," Karat said.

In a joint statement, the four mainstream Left parties
announced their plans to organise demonstrations across the
country on November eight to demand scrapping of the Indo-US
Defence Framework Agreement as well as extradition of Union
Carbide chief Warren Anderson in the Bhopal tragedy case.

CPI(M), CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP said Obama being the
"first Afro-American President and coming after the
neo-conservative Bush regime, there were expectations of
positive changes but they have not materialised.

"The Left parties have decided to organise a
countrywide day of protest on November 8, 2010" coinciding
with the visit of Obama to the capital, the statement signed
by Karat, A B Bardhan, Debabrata Biswas and Abani Roy, said.

The leaders said the parties will highlight five
issues on the protest day which include "justice for the
victims of Bhopal Gas accident and to make Dow Chemicals pay
for the damages and for the clean up of the factory site".

The Left parties will also demand extradition of
Anderson to India to stand trial in the case.

The parties will demand "stopping of pressurising
India on foreign policy.

It will also demand scrapping of the Indo-US Defence
Framework Agreement which it said will "convert India into a
military ally of the United States".

The parties will highlight the issue of withdrawal of
the remaining 50,000 US troops in Iraq forthwith. They will
also press for a political settlement in Afghanistan to
establish an independent and neutral state and withdrawal of
US-Nato forces immediately, they said.

-PTI

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