The CPI(M) is keen on forging unity among the like-minded opposition parties in all the states, much on the lines of the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) in Tamil Nadu, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury has said.
At the national level, such a unity among the opposition parties might be possible only after the 2024 elections, Mr. Yechury, who will be turning 70 on Friday, said The Hindu over phone from New Delhi on Thursday.
Sharing his views on the current political scenario and his political journey so far, Mr. Yechury, who had shot into limelight after his active participation in the Telangana agitation in 1969, said, “The CPI(M) has always batted for unity among the opposition parties based on issues and ideology. Unity for political gain has never been on its agenda.”
“We had been a part of the National Front in 1996 and the UPA in 2004 only after the general elections were completed. Pre-election unity with the like-minded parties at the national level may not be possible at this juncture,” he observed.
“However, we are open to having pre-poll alliances with the opposition parties in all the states,” he said, and added that all the parties in the SPA had registered huge gains in Tamil Nadu in 2021.
“Hence, we will look into such proposals before the elections in the respective states,” he added.
The CPI(M) had the support of people belonging to all sections of society, although its electoral strength declined in the last 15 years, Mr. Yechury said.
The CPI(M) had 43 MPs after the 2004 elections and its vote share was around 5.66%. We had certain setbacks in the last few years, he said.
“We are looking into the issue seriously. The party is planning to stage protests at the national and state levels from September 14 to 24 on issues such as unprecedented unemployment, price rise, privatization of public sector units, dilution of Trade Union Acts, and National Education Policy (NEP). We hope these efforts will ensure electoral gains for the party in the near future,” he said.
Opposing the NEP, Mr. Yechury said, “The Narendra Modi government is trying to change the curriculum to implement its religious agenda. Its attempt to alter history is objectionable. Mythologies are being projected as history. That is why we are opposing the NEP. In association with intellectuals, historians and academicians, we will garner the support of the people to build a nation-wide struggle against the NEP,” Mr. Yechury said.
He also criticized the Union government for “ignoring” the Constitution.
“The Constitution clearly says that people’s welfare should be given top priority. However, it is completely ignored by the NDA government. Instead of creating public wealth, it is privatizing all public sector units. The Union government is ignoring the democratic rights of the people as well. The government has been misusing its powers and institutions such as the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate” the CPI(M) leader alleged.