‘US was willing to do everything for UPA to win trust vote’

Last Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 21:12

New Delhi: Noting that WikiLeaks cables
were a "sad and revealing" commentary, CPI(M) has said
Americans were willing to for the UPA government to do
everything to win the trust vote so that the nuclear deal goes
CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said the cables
show that the Americans are keen observers of the high-level
corruption that exists in India?s political system.
"Understandably, the cable which reports the huge amounts of
money being used for buying MPs of the opposition during the
confidence vote in July 2008 has caused a furore," he said.

"The Americans were willing for the Manmohan Singh
government to do everything to win the vote, so that the
nuclear deal goes through. Any means, fair or foul, was
acceptable for the Americans," Karat said in an article in
party organ "People`s Democracy".

Noting that the cable also provides a "graphic and
accurate" account of how DMK distributed money to voters, he
said "with such knowledge the Americans have a correct
measure of the corrupt politicians and how they can purchase
them for their purposes."

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the coterie of
officers around him who touted the nuclear deal as the next
biggest thing to happen to India since independence were
actually advancing America?s interests, more than safeguarding
the interests of the country," he said.

"As the cables make it clear, the United States was after
not just the commercial benefit of a few billion dollars in
sale of nuclear reactors but getting India firmly on its side
as a strategic ally," he said.
Karat alleged the Prime Minister and Congress leadership
were trying to "brazen out" these exposures.

"They make the claim that these cables are unverifiable
and cannot be treated as authentic. This is a pathetic excuse
when everyone knows that the US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton herself had rang up the Indian Foreign Minister to
warn about the leakage of these cables and the consequent
embarrassment they may cause.

"The Wikileaks cables are a sad and revealing
commentary of where Manmohan Singh and the Congress leadership
have landed the country," he added.

In an editorial in People`s Democracy, the CPI(M) said
the UPA government should be forced to probe all aspects
exposed by the WikiLeaks which point towards an active US
effort to influence India`s policy framework direction to
consolidate neo-liberal economic policies.

"The government must be forced to do this in order to
safeguard and strengthen our parliamentary democracy," the
editorial said.

He said the government was forced to have a short
duration discussion in both Houses of Parliament on the
WikiLeaks exposure.

This parliamentary discussion, however, was only limited
to the cash-for-votes episode that saw the UPA-I government
winning the vote of confidence in 2008 after the Left parties
had withdrawn their support on the Indo-US nuclear deal issue,
it said.

"This was so because BJP has moved a privilege motion
against the Prime Minister on the ground that he misled
Parliament by saying that there was no corruption involved,
according to the report of the cash-for-vote probe committee
constituted by the 14th Lok Sabha. We shall return to the
facts of this matter later," it said.

In the process, it became clear that both Congress and
BJP were avoiding a discussion on the larger issue of how
India was trying to cement Indo-US strategic relationship and
the consequent "direct US interference" into the internal
affairs of India as exposed by the WikiLeaks. "They are thus
deliberately missing the woods for the trees", the editorial

"This is, however, not surprising," it said adding the
foundations for a strategic alliance with the USA were laid by
the Vajpayee government through the by now infamous, Jaswant
Singh-Strobe Talbott secret meeting.


First Published: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 21:12

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