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Left parties and Indo-US nuclear deal

Date: 07 August 2021 Tags: India & World


A new published book by former foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale has alleged that China used left parties in India to create opposition to Indo-US nuclear deal.



Gokhale, who was a former ambassador to China, has vast experience in dealing with China and its policies. His new memoir is named The Long Game: How the Chinese Negotiate with India.



  • Indo-US nuclear deal was a historic pact that gave legitimate recognition to Indian nuclear program. It was taking place during 2007 and 2008. 

  • Left parties had long opposition to Congress ideology but four of them went ahead and extended support to the party from outside to form the government in 2004.

  • The relationship was always expected to be bumpy considering ideological differences as well as stubborn nature of left party culture.


Start of conflict

  • The problem started when PM Dr Manmohan Singh announced that India and US would be resurrecting the civil nuclear cooperation deal.

  • The CPI (M) was the first to raise the banner of opposition in 2005. The rift started to widen between the coalition partners in future.

  • Finally, the left parties took back the support from the government in 2008. The government survived the no-confidence motion that followed.


The Left party ideology

  • Left parties had long and cordial relations with Chinese and Russian communist parties. They looked upto them for ideology and inspiration.

  • They have strong opposition to strategic and military relations between India and the US. They consider US as imperialists.

  • The left parties say that US has been preventing the rise of China as a major international players by using India as a counter-weight.


The agreement

  • The government signed the ‘Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy’.

  • It was known popularly as 123 agreement. The left parties demanded government not to go ahead with implementation without discussions in the parliament.

  • Regardless of the opposition, the government did not budge. PM Manmohan Singh dared the left parties to withdraw support.

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