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India will be asked to open up during Obama visit: CPI-M

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) When he visits India from Saturday, US President Barack Obama will seek that New Delhi should open up its market so that more American companies invest in sectors such as retail trade and agriculture, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said Thursday.

CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat said in a statement that Obama was visiting India at a time when the US economy was floundering with the unemployment rate standing at a high 9.6 percent.

‘The visit would, therefore, see more earnest attempts by the US side to get India to open up its markets and allow American companies to invest in sectors like retail trade and agriculture.

‘Indians see the Obama administration taking steps to discourage outsourcing business operations to India while India is expected to provide more business opportunities for the US,’ Karat said.

He said while the CPI-M and the Left recognised the difference between Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush, ‘the Obama administration represents a continuity in terms of the basic US approach for global dominance’.

So the Left would utilise the occasion to highlight the opposition of the Indian people ‘to the continuing US imperialist interventions’, Karat said in a statement.

‘The Obama visit should not result in Walmart being allowed into retail trade in India which will destroy the livelihood of tens of thousands of small shopkeepers and traders.

‘The commerce minister and sections of the government are rooting for FDI entry into multi-brand retail trade.’

Karat also reiterated the Left’s opposition to military collaboration with the US ‘which is impinging on India’s independent foreign policy and strategic autonomy’.

He said when Obama addresses parliament Monday, ‘along with others, the Left MPs will also listen to him. On the same day, there will be demonstrations and meetings all over the country voicing the opinions of the Indian people. President Obama should listen to them’.

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