New Delhi: Major parties on Monday took strong
exception to demands in the UK for stopping aid to India, with
opposition BJP saying that the country did not require such
help and should give a befitting reply to the "arrogance" of a
section of the British political class by refusing it.
But despite demands by ruling Conservative party MPs and
others to end it, Britain today defended its multi-million
pound aid to India saying "now is not the time to quit".
The clamour to stop British aid reached a high after
India last week decided to select the French fighter Rafale
over Eurofighter Typhoon, which is partly manufactured in
Britain, as its mainstay multi-role combat aircraft.
BJP MP Balbir Punj said, "I am surprised that in India
which is seen as a rising economic power, inspite of the
misgovernance by the UPA, should take these peanuts from the
UK or anywhere else.
"I will call upon the government to stop this aid
immediately. That will be a proper and fit reply to the
arrogance of those British who think that they can influence
the decision-making in India with the help of a few pennies."
Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said Britain was
"reacting in a typical manner in which a conservative Tory-led
government would react. They are saying that if you are not
meeting our interests, why should we give you any aid."
"So any aid, which is tied or conditional, is not going
to be helpful to India," Yechury said.
Referring to the decision on Rafale, Union Minister and
Congress leader Veerappa Moily said, "Business cannot work on
monopolies, but (depends) on competitiveness. Whatever the
best quality and whatever the prices, we do business.
"Any country cannot dictate and say that you do business
only with me and not anybody else, I don`t think this can run.
We have to deal with things that are in the best interests of