Next prez should have impeccable secular credentials: Yechury

Kolkata: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury today hinted that his party is not averse to supporting the TMC and other opposition parties in order to elect the next president whose “secular credentials” should be impeccable.

He also lashed out at the Narendra Modi government for trying to project “Hindutva as the role model of development”.

The country is going through a phase where you should have a president whose secular credentials are impeccable. The president is the custodian of our constitution, he said on the sidelines of a programme here.

Yechury further said, “So we want a person to be the president who believes in secular supervision and not a communal supervision. So for this we are talking to other parties.” Yechury said.

Asked if his party is ready to stand with TMC on the issue, the CPI(M) leader said, “See this is not a political alignment or any alliance. Many parties will be coming together. If you are coming together on this issue then it is good.

“We will have our political differences (with TMC) and we will fight it politically. But today the issue is presidential election and this is our proposal, if you agree with this then it is good. Yesterday I met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on this issue.”

He emphasised the need to make collective efforts to have an acceptable, common candidate for the top post who can undertake “secular supervision” as it is essential at this juncture.

When asked whether he will hold talks with the TMC, Yechury said, “It is not about holding talks. This issue is in our agenda, we want this kind of a candidate. First let all of us have a commonality on candidate, then only consultations can start.”

Attacking the saffron party, he said, “The BJP is trying to project Hindutva as a role model of development. During campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha election, it was trying to project Gujarat model of development which was nothing but the manifestation of Godhra riots in 2002.

“The BJP wanted to send out a subtle message that we have taught Muslims a lesson. They did this again in UP assembly polls where they didn’t field a single Muslim candidate.

“Actually they want to send out a message of development which is minus Muslims. This is their Hindutava model of development,” he said.

Yechury also mocked the TMC and the BJP saying they are having a “carrot and a stick” relationship.

“Whenever the TMC raises voice against the BJP, two of their leaders are arrested in corruption cases and the TMC becomes quiet. They stage walk out during voting in the Rajya Sabha, and in turn helps the BJP. The BJP also pays back by going slow on CBI cases against TMC leaders,” he said.