Left parties to stage protests ahead of Obama's visitNew Delhi: Six Left parties would organise demonstrations across the country on January 24, ahead of President Barack Obama's visit here, to protest US “interference” in India's internal affairs and the BJP-led government's “pro-US” policies.The
New Delhi: Six Left parties would organise demonstrations across the country on January 24, ahead of President Barack Obama's visit here, to protest US “interference” in India's internal affairs and the BJP-led government's “pro-US” policies.
The parties, which met here yesterday, decided to hold the protests on three primary slogans - ‘halt US aggression' in West Asia and other parts, ‘stop interference in India's domestic matters' and ‘stop US-India strategic collaboration'.
In a joint statement, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML)-Liberation, AIFB, SUCI© and RSP accused the Narendra Modi government of “pursuing a pro-US foreign policy which is contrary to an independent non-aligned foreign policy. This is being done in the interests of Indian and foreign monopoly capital.”
Noting that Obama has been invited to attend the Republic Day celebrations, they said “it is a supreme irony that the day which symbolises India's independence and sovereignty is being graced by the head of a country which has done the most to assault and destroy the sovereignty of many countries around the world.
“President Obama himself is responsible for the aggression in Libya and for the rerun of bombing and sending troops back to Iraq. The US is doing everything to destroy Syria as a national entity.”
The statement, signed by the top leaders of the parties, said they were protesting the decision to renew the India-US Defence Framework Agreement for another ten years which would “yoke India to American military strategy in Asia.”
There has been “relentless pressures” exercised by the Obama administration on India to open up the financial sector to US capital, as a result of which the government has promulgated an ordinance to allow 49 per cent FDI in the insurance sector, it said.
The US was exerting “strong pressure” to weaken India's patents regime to benefit the US drug companies, so that they can sell drugs in India at high prices, the Left parties' statement said.
“There were pressures on India to give up its food security programme by undermining public procurement and the public distribution system, besides weakening laws that protect labour rights and environment, to benefit US corporations.
“There were also Obama-Modi efforts to dilute the civil nuclear liability law to favour US nuclear industry,” it said. The parties alleged that Washington was “seeking to pressurise” India to change its foreign policy orientation vis a vis Palestine, Israel and Iran to suit American interests.
The joint statement was signed by General Secretaries Prakash Karat (CPI-M), Sudhakar Reddy (CPI), Dipankar Bhattacharya (CPI-ML Liberation), Provash Ghosh (SUCI-C), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc) and Abani Roy of RSP.