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US discussing India`s bilateral issues with CM unacceptable: CPI-M

CPI(M) objected to the US holding negotiations on India`s bilateral matters with WB CM Mamata Banerjee and warned the Centre not to succumb to Washington`s pressure on issues like Iran and FDI in retail sector.



New Delhi: CPI(M) on Monday objected to the US holding negotiations on India`s bilateral matters with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and warned the Centre not to succumb to Washington`s pressure on issues like Iran and FDI in retail sector.

In a statement issued here after party`s Polit Bureau meeting, the CPI(M) referred to the meeting visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had with Banerjee.

"What is significant about this meeting is the issues which were reportedly discussed. The sharing of Teesta waters is a bilateral issue between India and Bangladesh. The raising of this matter by Clinton, that too with the state Chief Minister, is uncalled for and unacceptable intrusion into a strictly bilateral issue.

"The US Secretary of State will seek to utilize the visit to continue to pressurize India to open up retail trade to US and multinational companies. The Polit Bureau warns the UPA government not to proceed further with allowing FDI in retail trade which has met with widespread opposition in the country," it said.

The party said that Clinton will also demand that India stop oil imports from Iran and curtail trade and economic ties.

"So far, the Manmohan Singh government has succumbed to US pressures on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and on the Iran nuclear issue. India needs the oil and gas supplies from Iran. The country expects the UPA government to act on the basis of the vital interests of the country," it said.

Party General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had made a categorical statement that India was not going to cut back oil shipments or oil trade with Iran.

"But what is the official stand of the government and what they are actually doing, there is a big gap and I am sure that we will have to raise this matter not only outside but inside Parliament too," he said.

Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said nobody understands why the US is conducting negotiations or discussions on a matter on which Parliament is seized of.

"How this is being discussed with the Chief Minister of one state. I mean it is completely inexplicable, it is bizarre. Why is this sort of blatant interference in India`s affairs is being allowed and that is our question to the Government," he said.

PTI

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