Obama pursuing known US positions, says Left

Obama pursuing known US positions, says Left

"References have been made (by Obama) on every major issue, but there is nothing tangible," CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury, who was present in Parliament during Obama's speech, said.

Obama "stood as the President pursuing the known US positions," CPI National Secretary D Raja said.

To questions on the US President's reference to India getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council in years to come, Yechury underscored that Obama had linked it to reforms in the Council.

"He referred to Myanmar on human rights but did not talk about Palestine. If US is a global leader, then it should apply its values globally," Yechury said, adding that Obama had come to India after signing a massive aid to Pakistan.

In the same vein, Raja stressed that Obama spoke about sanctions but did not speak on Cuba, against which the US continues to impose economic curbs even after several decades.

"Obama's human side was reflected in his references to Mahatma Gandhi, Vivekananda, Ambedkar and Martin Luther King and his quotations from Tagore and the Indian Constitution. But on all political issues, Obama stood as the President pursuing the known US positions," the Left leader, who was also in the audience, said.

"He wants India to be a junior ally of the American imperial power. ... India and the US cannot share the same perspective on democracy and human rights," he said.

Regarding Obama's take on cooperation in agriculture, Raja said that due to the "so-called Knowledge Initiative, US firms like Monsanto and Cargill are dictating terms today. Why are the Indian farmers resisting and opposing it? These US companies are responsible."

Earlier in the day, the Left parties staged a protest against the US' economic and strategic alliance proposals, claiming these would only benefit America and go against India's interest.

"We don't have any opposition to his (Obama's) visit but his visit should not mean that our government, coming under the pressure of America, enters into agreements (with US) which goes against Indian sovereignty, economic interest, interest of farmers and labourers," CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said.

The Left leader underlined that America was facing economic crisis and unemployment. "But more unemployment can not be created in India to reduce unemployment in America," he said.

Yechury said he will respond after taking a comprehensive look at the communique to be issued after the visit.

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