People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 02, 2007
Nuclear Deal Against Our National Interests
CPI(M) And CPI Leaders Tell UPA Govt
M Venugopala Rao
SITARAM Yechury, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) and MP, and Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, secretary of the national council of the CPI and MP, made it clear to the Congress-led UPA government at the centre that they do not intend to bring down the government but they would not stop it, if it wanted to commit hara-kiri on the issue of India-US nuclear deal.
Both leaders made this position of the Left clear at a meeting organised by both the parties on “India-US Nuclear Deal - Consequences” at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in Hyderabad on August 25, 2007. Addressing the meeting, Sitaram Yechury explained that the component of the nuclear power generation envisaged under the India-US nuclear deal is a meagre percentage of the overall power generated in the country. Compared to the cost of generation of hydel power, the cost of generation of nuclear power was double and compared to the cost of generation of power using natural gas, the cost of nuclear power was very high, he said. He explained that there was scope for generating 50,000 MW of hydel power in the country by utilising the available water resources. By constructing dams to regulate flood water coming from the rivers of Nepal, apart from preventing the danger of floods, 83,000 MW of hydel power could be generated in Nepal which India could purchase at a cheaper rate and transmit the same to our country by laying necessary transmission lines, Sitaram explained. Instead of adopting alternatives that were available for generation of cheaper power, the government was laying undue importance on the Indo-US nuclear deal for generation of costly nuclear power, he criticised.
Sitaram warned that as a result of the Indo-US nuclear deal, America would influence our country’s defence, political and economic policies. He apprehended that the recently announced Rs 42,000 crore deal for purchase of 126 war planes must have been linked to the nuclear deal. Ultimately, America might not give the uranium required by us for generation of nuclear power and other countries also would not give it, he said. Our country had rich deposits of thorium by converting which into uranium, there would be no impediment for us to generate nuclear power, he said. Sitaram warned that the US was hatching a conspiracy to obstruct utilisation of thorium by our country. The government had said that special machinery would be set up on the Indo-US nuclear deal and it was going to be crucial in the coming days, Sitaram said. He explained that the CPI(M) and the other Left parties were trying to safeguard the country from the conspiracies of the imperialists by building up public opinion against the nuclear deal. Till the issues raised by the Left were cleared, implementation of the Indo-US nuclear must be put on hold, Sitaram asserted.
Sudhakar Reddy said that the Left parties were raising objections on the nuclear deal with the US from 2005 onwards. There was dissatisfaction among the Congress leaders also on the issue, he said. Making it clear that our country should take an independent stand on conducting nuclear tests, Sudhakar Reddy said that going ahead with the deal would cause serious harm to our national interests. Warning that the US would go to any extent if its line was not followed, he reminded the experience of Iraq. Sudhakar Reddy said that the Left parties were not asking for abrogation of the Indo-US nuclear deal and all that they were asking for was a thorough debate on the issue to sort out all the questions raised and to postpone its implementation till then. Making it clear that the Left parties were not blackmailing the government and rebutting the allegation that they were creating political uncertainty, he said that they wanted the government to continue for its full five-year term.
Paturu Ramayya, central committee member of the CPI(M) and MLA, presided over the meeting. MLC K Nageswar, CPI(M) state secretariat member Y Venkateswara Rao and CPI state secretariat members K Ramakrishna and T Lakshminarayana participated in the meeting.