WikiLeaks reports suggest `pro-US shift` by UPA: Oppn

Wikileaks reports suggest that there was a `US tilt` in the 2006 Cabinet reshuffle, says Opposition.

Updated: Mar 16, 2011, 00:12 AM IST

New Delhi: Publication of Wikileaks reports
suggesting that a "US tilt" was visible in the Indian Cabinet
reshuffle of 2006, on Tuesday prompted the Opposition in the Rajya
Sabha to allege that the pro-American shift by the UPA
government was a "shameful" act.

CPI-M members in the Rajya Sabha raised the issue and said
the Wikileaks cable quoted the US Ambassador in India David C
Mulford as saying that there was "undeniable pro-American
tilt" in the then Cabinet reshuffle.
The CPI-M members, led by P Rajeeve and Brinda Karat, said
Mulford had described change in the Petroleum portfolio as a
"determination to ensure that US-India relations continue to
move ahead rapidly."

The matter was raised during Zero Hour by Rajeeve, who
said that Mani Shankar Aiyar, seen by the US as "contentious
and outspoken Iran pipeline advocate", was replaced by "pro-
US" Murli Deora.
He said a chain of US embassy cables reveal the pro-US
position of the Indian government on several issues.

Amid shouts of "shame" Rajeeve said America felt the net
effect of the cabinet reshuffle was "likely to be excellent
for the US goals in India (and Iran)."

The CPI-M member, supported by his party colleagues and
BJP and Shiv Sena, said there was also a reference in the
cables to the inclusion of Saifuddin Soz, Anand Sharma,
Ashwani Kumar and Kapil Sibal "with strong pro-US
credentials".

They revealed that India was not ready to share the
details of investigations into 26/11 Mumbai attack with
Pakistan initially. But after continuous pressure (from the
US), the Home Minister agreed to share the information, he
said.

The US quotes about "Kerala Mafia" in PMO also provoked
members to shout slogans "shame on the government". They
demanded a response from the government but it was not acceded
to by Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan.

Citing rules, Khan did not allow members to seek response
from the government.

"Today members are breaking all rules. This is not the
way," Khan said adding the Chair cannot ask the government to
respond to Zero Hour mentions.

He also repeatedly pointed to Karat, observing that she
was breaking the rules.

PTI