NEW DELHI: The NDA government has "crossed the line" to "convert" India into a "full-fledged" military ally of the United States by giving nod to a logistics exchange agreement with that country, Left parties said today, terming the move as "dangerous and anti-national".
Accusing the government of "compromising" the country's strategic autonomy with the move, the CPI(M) asked it to "immediately retract" from inking the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) which will enable both the militaries to use each other's assets and bases for repair and replenishment of supplies.
The party also said LEMOA is "just another name" for the Logistic Support Agreement (LSA) the US has entered into with military allies like Philippines, South Korea and Japan.
"The Modi government has taken the dangerous step of deepening military collaboration with the United States by agreeing to allow US armed forces to use base facilities in Indian naval and air force bases.
"... In doing so, the BJP government has crossed a line which no other government has done since independence - converting India into a full-fledged military ally of the United States," the CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.
It accused the government of "compromising" national sovereignty and strategic autonomy of the country with its action and urged all political parties and "patriotic" citizens to oppose the Centre's "surrender" to the US.
"The government must be told that these anti-national steps do not have support of the people. It should immediately retract from signing the Logistics Agreement," it added.
CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted: "By agreeing to sign the defence logistics agreement with the US, the BJP govt has given up India's strategic autonomy, nurtured over decades."
"By kowtowing to the US, is this the 'strong' message BJP govt is sending to the US for its supply of F-16s & Vipers to the Pakistan army?" Yechury asked in another tweet.
The CPI(M) said besides LEMOA, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has indicated that two other agreements 'Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)' and 'Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)' are on the anvil.
"These will make Indian armed forces' command and control structure integrated with the US armed forces," it said.
CPI national secretary D Raja observed that there is "no transparency" in what the Union Government does on "critical" policy matters and demanded the Centre explain why it is "desperate to please" Washington by taking the step "voluntarily".