'Unlike BJP, We're Not Influenced by the US, Israel': Indian Left Denies 'China Agent' Accusations
11:45 GMT 03.08.2021 (Updated: 10:37 GMT 19.07.2022)
In his new book, former Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, who has also served as ambassador to China, alleges that Beijing used its “close connections” with the left-wing parties to “build domestic opposition” to the India-US Civil Nuclear Agreement sealed by then-US pres. George W. Bush and Indian PM Manmohan Singh in 2005.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has hit out at the 'bourgeois parties' like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for being inspired by foreign powers such as the US and Israel, as it countered allegations that it was enlisted by China
to scuttle a landmark Indo-US nuclear agreement.
"This is propaganda... We formulate our own policies and unlike the BJP, we are not influenced by foreign powers," Hannan Mollah, an eight-time MP and Politburo Member of CPI(M) told Sputnik.
Mollah said that the Left parties in India have “never acted under foreign influence”.
“Not agreeing to the (civil nuclear) deal was in India’s national interest,” argued Mollah. The former MP said that India has been “compromising” its non-aligned posture and now is “overtly influenced” by the US.
The BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi
has often been accused by opposition outfits of tilting towards the US and also compromising India's traditional "non-aligned" foreign policy posture on crucial global issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. For its part, the BJP denies the charges and claims to be working in the "national interest".
In his new book 'The Long Game: How the Chinese Negotiate with India’, Gokhale claims that Beijing manipulated Indian politicians to influence the decision-making of the federal government.
“...the Chinese appeared to operate through the Left parties and the left-leaning media in India that had an ideological problem with regard to nuclear weapons, in an effort to build domestic opposition to the Indo-US deal. This might have been the first instance for China to operate politically in Indian domestic politics. China is becoming more sophisticated in its manipulation of Indian interest groups,” Gokhale writes in his book.
The excerpts from the new book have been reported by the English daily The Indian Express.
Under the terms of the civil nuclear deal, India agreed to bring its civil nuclear programme under international safeguards, while the US allowed the transfer of “sensitive” civil nuclear technology to India.
In India, 'left parties' are those which espouse Marxist political ideals. The CPI (M) was part of the federal ruling coalition between 2004 and 2009, when the India-US deal was agreed upon. The then-ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition was headed by the Congress party.
In the Indian parliamentary vote, the CPI (M) voted against the deal and even withdrew its support for the Congress-led alliance.
The BJP, which opposed the India-US Nuclear Deal at the time, said in 2009 that its opposition was based purely on "domestic political reasons". As per leaked diplomatic cables reported by Indian daily The Hindu, senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, the leader of opposition at the time, assured American diplomats during a visit to the US Embassy in Delhi that there would be "continuity" in bilateral ties if the outfit came to power.
In fact, the BJP launched a massive political attack against the Left outfits after Gokhale’s allegations.