The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has called for wide-ranging electoral reforms to ensure parties with popular public support came to power at the State and Central level.
Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury lamented that the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were continuing in power in spite of securing only 31% of the total mandate.
“The results mean that 69% voted against the ruling party and the Prime Minister. But they are continuing in power. This has to be changed,” he said. Mr. Yechury was addressing a seminar on the “Electoral reforms - necessity” organised by the Bahujan Left Front here on Sunday.
He expressed concern over the economic exploitation, and communal polarisation for the sake of political gains and opined that dilution of the constitutional bodies like the Supreme Court and Election Commission were continuing unabated ever since the BJP took over the reins four years ago. In addition to increasing the problems faced by the working class, the government had decided to introduce electoral bonds that would open a route for dubious funds to pass unrecorded and undeclared to certain political parties.
The electoral bonds along with the retrospective amendment to Foreign Contribution Regulation Act would allow indirect funding by foreign companies and these were two retrogressive steps taken by the government for political ends, he said. “The companies see this funding as an investment as they can avail the returns of their largesse after the formation of the new government,” he said.
The intent of the government could be seen from the fact that it had waived loans of corporates amounting to ₹3.5 lakh crore while it was constantly rejecting the demand for loan waiver for farmers. “There are still ₹11 lakh crore dues of corporates to banks. Recovery of at least half of the amount and investing it in public good will create huge employment and ensure accelerated development in the country,” he said.
Referring to the State issues, he said the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government failed to fulfil its assurances to the people on lifting the backward regions of the State from their problems if separate State was formed. He stressed on the need for alternative policies rather than alternative parties that alone could give bahujans their due in the political arena and wanted the BLF to work in that direction.
Social activist and academic Kancha Ilaiah, balladeer Gadar and others spoke.