New Delhi: Remaining non-committal on the opposition face for the prime minister’s post in the 2019 elections, the CPI(M) said state-specific alliances will be formed to take on the BJP and that post-poll developments would throw up a leader.
Interacting with journalists at the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC), party General Secretary Sitaram Yechury
said politics was “not arithmetic” and that secular forces will rally around the leading players in various states.
He was asked who would lead the mahagathbandhan or a grand alliance of the opposition parties, if such an alliance is formed, against the ruling BJP.
“In Uttar Pradesh, the secular forces will rally around SP-BSP; in Bihar the Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) would be the driving force. Similarly, in Tamil Nadu it would be DMK,” Yechury said, insisting that the lack of an unanimous leader to represent the opposition was not a handicap.
“India’s recent history is replete with examples when governments were formed on post-poll alliances. From Morarji Desai’s Janata Party government in 1977 to V.P. Singh and Atal Behari Vajpayee and even the Congress-led UPA-I were all formed after elections,” he said.
“Please do not underestimate the wisdom of the common man. I don’t do that. Neither should you,” he said.
The CPI(M) General Secretary also remained non-committal on the possibility of the CPI-M tying up with the Congress in West Bengal. He said the party was seeking to consolidate all anti-Trinamool and anti-BJP votes in the state.
Criticising the Congress for its “soft Hindutva” stance, Yechury said that although the Congress was a secular party, it had the “proclivity for soft Hindutva and compromising with communal politics”.
Yechury said that the foremost priority for the people of India was to get rid of the Narendra Modi government which was not only “wreaking havoc” on the economy and Constitutional institutions of India, it was also indulging in the “worst form of communal polarisation”.
“Ousting this government is in the interest of people and the nation. Farmers’ distress, widespread unemployment, corruption are the issues this government is evading. The 2016-17 Employment Survey is waiting to be released for 18 months now because the figures are showing a picture totally opposite of the government’s claims,” he said.
“It’s a classic post-truth government.”
Speaking on Jammu and Kashmir developments, Yechury said the Centre did not want a solution to the Kashmir problem and wanted to keep the pot “simmering” for “communal polarisation”.
“This communal polarisation actually disrupts the alternative narrative,” he said, adding that the Ram mandir issue would be kept alive by the BJP till the Lok Sabha elections next year.
Yechury said that the “greatest disservice” was done to the country’s foreign policy by the Modi government in the last five years as it reduced India to a “junior subordinate ally” of the US.
“Our foreign policy today is not being driven by India’s interests but by the interests of the US. Today we have unprecedented cold relations with our neighbouring countries including Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka etc. China is world’s second largest economy and good relations with it would be of mutual benefit. But what we are doing is conduct Malabar military Exercise with US and Japan in South China sea,” he said.
Praising the Kartarpur Sahib initiative by the Indian and Pakistani governments, Yechury said it would boost people-to-people contacts.
“You say terror and talks can’t go together. We say counter the terror vehemently but keep the channel of dialogue open with all,” he said.