A memorial meeting for M.P. Veerendrakumar, former State president, Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), on the Kozhikode beach on Sunday evening turned out to be a platform that called for an alliance between socialists and communists against the attack on secularism and the federal structure enshrined in the Constitution by the BJP-led Union government.
Kerala Chief Minister and Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] Polit Bureau member Pinarayi Vijayan, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, and Kerala Power Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader K. Krishnankutty, were among those present.
Opening the public meeting, Mr. Vijayan criticised the way in which the new Parliament building was opened in New Delhi on Sunday. “What happened today should not have happened in a country that calls itself a secular republic. The Union government performed a religious ritual in what should have been a public event. There have also been criticisms against how the President of India was not associated with it,” he said.
‘States’ powers usurped’
Mr. Vijayan alleged that the Centre was usurping the powers of States and strangling their financial resources. Unilateral decisions were being taken on issues in which both the Union and State governments were stakeholders. Calling this a violation of the federal principles of the Constitution, Mr. Vijayan alleged that many agreements affecting States had been signed without consulting them. He also claimed that the Centre was not allowing the legislature and the judiciary to function independently. “This is a fight between humanity and brutality. To be impartial in this context is like joining hands with the brutal forces,” Mr. Vijayan added.
‘No regard for the poor’
Mr. Yadav, meanwhile, alleged that the BJP had no regard for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes. That was why it was opposed to the demand for a caste census. “There is also a brazen attack on independent institutions and misuse of agencies against political opponents, including in Kerala. What is required is that the parties with socialist background and the communists should come together and work. While there are similarities and differences between socialism and communism, in the larger interest of the poor people, we must collaborate with each other,” he said.