Kolkata, March 21: Chairman of West Bengal’s ruling Left Front Biman Basu Saturday alleged that the US was “interfering” in India’s internal affairs by organising dialogues with sections of the country’s minority communities. However, a US diplomat in the city denied any such meetings.
“We came to know that a top US official recently met a section of Muslim and Christian leaders at a central Kolkata hotel and made comments on the coming general elections also. He cannot do that. If they need to talk to a section of people, they should have called them at the US consulate,” Basu told a press conference here. “People of West Bengal should be more careful of any form of conspiracy which is being fabricated against the communists in the state,” Basu said, declining to divulge any further details about the meeting held by the US official.
“We, on behalf of the party, have already sought information about the meeting from the state government,” he said. The US Consulate in Kolkata, however, denied the report of any secret meeting held by any US official here.“We do have a bilateral relationship with India but we do not interfere in India’s internal political affairs. The claim by Mr. Biman Basu is completely baseless as we did not organise any secret meeting with minority people here,” American Center director Douglas Kelly told IANS.
Basu also attacked the central government for the recent meeting between CIA chief Leon Panetta and Home Minister P. Chidambaram and said he sensed a “deep rooted conspiracy” against the communists in the state, just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Asked whether he felt that the CIA was trying to dislodge the Left Front government in West Bengal, he said: “I won’t say that now. But the way state Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is being criticised, it shows the CIA model is being followed here also.”
The Left Front chairman also claimed that some people were carrying a “misinformation” campaign against the West Bengal government. “Women, in the guise of widows affected by the Nandigram land issue, are visiting different districts and claiming that if people voted for the Left Front in the coming Lok Sabha poll, the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee-led Left Front government would take away all their land,” he said.