Debating India

Centre tilting towards U.S.: Basu

Sunday 6 August 2006

Special Correspondent

`Not keeping to an independent foreign policy line as spelt out in the CMP’

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SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH
REMEMBERING A VETERAN: The former West Bengal Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu, garlanding a portrait of Muzaffar Ahmed, founder of the undivided Communist Party of India, on his 118th birth anniversary in Kolkata on Saturday.

KOLKATA: "Give us a chance to support you ... but you must not allow your Government to be dictated to by the United States," was what veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, when the latter had called on him at his residence during his visit to the city last month.

Recalling the conversation between the two at a function here on Saturday to commemorate the 118th birth anniversary of Muzaffar Ahmed, a pioneer of the Communist movement in the country, Mr. Basu said that even though he told Dr. Singh that "we shall be going to the people whenever you deviate from the Common Minimum Programme" he assured him that it was not the intention of his party - the Communist Party of India (Marxist) - to topple the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre.

The Prime Minister told him then that his Government was not pro-U.S. but was only having talks with the U.S. Government to seek its cooperation on matters related to industry and the like.

"But the Centre seems to be increasingly tilting towards the U.S. Government and is not keeping to an independent foreign policy line as spelt out in the CMP," he said.

The annual Muzaffar Ahmed Memorial Awards 2006 were given to historian Irfan Habib for his book The People’s History of India: Indian Economy 1858 -1914 and to Jitendranath Roy, an educationist, for his book in Bengali titled Banglar Kal kharkhana O Kariguribidyar Itihas (A History of Bengal’s Factories and Technical Education) which, according to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, was based on meetings and interviews with workers and their organisations and whose underlying concept was that "of understanding the history of industry through an understanding of the workers." Speaking on the occasion Biman Bose, CPI (M) State Committee secretary, warned that India was "falling in the trap set by the U.S. Government" and the Government at the Centre was undermining the country’s sovereignty by getting increasingly dependant economically on the U.S.

See online : The Hindu

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