Noting that secularism reflected the “character” of India, Communist Party of India’s national general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy on Saturday decried what he termed were attempts to drop the word “secular” from the Preamble of the Constitution and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should come clear on the issue.
“Secularism reflects the character of India. Socialism reflects the goal India has to achieve. The words socialist and secular were incorporated in the Preamble in 1976. They should not be removed. The Government of India, the BJP and the NDA should desist from such a move,” the CPI leader told a press conference this afternoon.
After the Partition, Pakistan chose to become an Islamic Republic while India remained a secular Republic. Would the word Republic also be removed from the Preamble, Suravaram said.
“The RSS wants a Hindu State. One Union Minister says time has come for repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution (that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir). Prakash Javadekar talks in support of dropping the words secular and socialist from the Preamble. Another Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu says the country will remain secular. It is not sufficient if Venkaiah Naidu says this, the Prime Minister himself should respond and come out with a clarification,” the CPI general secretary said.
Suravaram also demanded that the Centre publicise details of the nuclear deal signed between India and the USA during President Barack Obama’s recent visit.
“In the five-page joint statement released after the meeting between Narendra Modi and Obama, there was only one paragraph about the nuclear deal.
Signing the deal without any discussion in Parliament only amounts to deceiving the nation,” he alleged.
He pointed out that not a single unit of nuclear power was produced in India though a civilian nuclear deal was signed between India and the US in 2008.
“Not a single nuclear power plant has been set up in the US in recent years as they are using gas for electricity generation. The US is only trying to thrust obsolete nuclear technology and machinery on India,” he added.
Lashing out at the disinvestment of public share in Coal India Limited, Suravaram alleged that the NDA government was continuing the UPA government’s policy only to help private players.
“When the UPA-1 government sought to divest public shares in BHEL in 2006-07, we opposed it and the move was stalled for six months. During that period, BHEL stock value tripled. Disinvestment will only help private investors,” he said.
“Only Adani and Ambani gained Rs one lakh crore since Modi became Prime Minister. The NDA government is not ready to levy tax on windfall profits,” Suravaram alleged.