Left a safer bet than Congress, its leaders not turncoats: Sitaram Yechury

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury says INDIA bloc offers a ‘strong, viable alternative’ to BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s frequent campaign forays to Kerala and Tamil Nadu signalled sheer desperation and would boomerang on his party as seen in the Karnataka Assembly elections, he adds

Updated - April 20, 2024 09:35 am IST

Published - April 19, 2024 11:56 pm IST - KANNUR 

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury at an election convention of the LDF at Mambaram in Kannur.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury at an election convention of the LDF at Mambaram in Kannur. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Before hurling allegations at the CPI(M) in Kerala, the Congress will do well to ask itself why a large number of people joining the BJP are Congress leaders, said CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in an interaction with The Hindu at Parakkandy early this week.

“In Kerala, too, people think it’s a safer bet to have the Left which is unlikely to defect to the BJP. In West Bengal and Tripura, we are getting killed. But our leaders don’t become turncoats. That sort of character you require in the party, which the Congress doesn’t have,” Mr. Yechury said.

Rebuts Modi’s charges

Responding to a question on the charges levelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the CPI(M) and the Kerala government, he said Mr. Modi was deliberately spreading false information as the agencies under him could not come up with anything incriminating in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case even after years of investigation. “The point is the boot is always on the other foot for Mr. Modi. He makes these reckless allegations while he is singularly responsible as the head of the Central government for having conducted these investigations,” Mr. Yechury said.

On the Income Tax department freezing the bank account of his party in Thrissur, he said details of all accounts across the country using the CPI(M) PAN card were consolidated every year and submitted by the party and “there were times when the Election Commission of India and other authorities went on record saying that we were the ones that actually fulfilled that obligation in time. Even the ruling party does not do that, but no questions are asked”.

The action of the I-T department in the midst of elections, a year after receiving the data, smacked of mala fide intentions, especially when it is read with the arrests of Delhi and Jharkhand Chief Ministers, the attacks on Opposition leaders, engineering a split in Opposition parties, etc, he said.

Stable alternative

Mr. Yechury slammed a major section of the media for parroting a BJP-sponsored narrative that he claimed was diverse from the people’s narrative of an alternative to the present dispensation. The INDIA bloc was never meant to be a pan-Indian grand narrative, but an understanding and seat adjustments at the State level to keep the BJP out which was achieved in most States. It wasn’t tried in States like Kerala where the BJP was a non-entity and in places like West Bengal where the idea was to ensure anti-incumbency against the Trinamool Congress government should not favour the BJP. So, the INDIA bloc offered a very viable, stable alternative, he said.

The Prime Minister’s frequent campaign forays to Kerala and Tamil Nadu signalled sheer desperation. While targeting over 400 seats, the BJP and Mr. Modi knew full well that they had hit the ceiling in terms of the number of seats in 2019 in States where the sharpening of communal polarisation worked for them. They would lose some of those seats as well. Mr. Yechury said repeated visits by Mr. Modi would boomerang on his party as seen in the Karnataka Assembly elections. He added that if free and fair elections were held, the CPI(M) would improve its electoral performance in West Bengal and Tripura.

(Full interview: https://newsth.live/Yechury)

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.