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    US seeking to turn India into a military base: Brinda

    Pune (PTI): The US wants India to be converted into a military base to facilitate refuelling for its planes and recreation for the soldiers engaged in Iraq war, CPI(M) politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP Brinda Karat said.

    "By initiating the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Americans are aiming at making India a strategic ally and the US pressure was responsible for a deliberate delay in giving effect to the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline," she alleged, addressing a public meeting here on Thursday.

    "The US wants India to be its military base where the American planes can refuel after bombing in Iraq and the soldiers can have recreation," she said.

    Karat, who was in the city as part of the CPI(M) campaign to explain to the people "real nature" of the nuke deal, denied that the Left opposition to the agreement stemmed from its ideological anti-US stance.

    "All we want is to protect the sovereignty of people of India and expose the UPA government's hidden agenda of linking the country's foreign policy to the US strategy," she said.

    The CPI(M) leader accused the UPA government of slashing the budget allocation to the Atomic Energy Department by Rs 188 crore and neglecting the country's indigenous nuclear development programme while pursuing the deal with the US which would be able to meet just eight per cent of the domestic power demand.

    Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remark in Parliament during the trust vote debate that Left parties wanted to treat him as a bonded slave, Karat said, "by making this allegation Singh has degraded the office of the Prime Minister of India."


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