Yechury calls Stalin to make alliance against BJP ahead of 2019 polls
CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury Tuesday called on DMK President M K Stalin in a bid to take forward the opposition attempt to stitch a mega alliance against the BJP at the Centre and expressed confidence that such a coalition would indeed take shape.
Yechury said that more than the leaders' 'attitude', it was "people from the ground" who would 'push' them to save India, making them come together. Responding to actor Rajinikanth's statement, virtually backing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a 'strong' man electorally, Yechury referred to the earlier defeats of the late Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2004 and his successor Manmohan Singh in 2014.
Asked about attempts being made by Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, N Chandrababu Naidu and Mamata Banerjee respectively, to cobble together anti-BJP fronts and if a 'Mahagatbandhan' (mega alliance) would become a reality, he said: "it will." Political parties would be able to iron out their differences for this purpose, he said. "More than the attitude of the leaders, it is the people from the ground who will push all the leaders to come together to save India. And it will happen," Yechury said.
He said it was important for all secular-minded parties who value Indian democracy, the Indian republic and unity of the people to come together in defence of the country, and on that basis, to create a better India. "That is the objective that both Stalin and I share along with all other leaders... we have a common objective and this is going to be done along with all the other secular democratic forces in the country," he said.
"We are all together on this one issue of saving India today, saving Indian institutions, saving India's constitutional order, saving the unity, integrity and harmony of our people," Yechury added. He said that the CPI(M) has decided to be a part of the DMK-led front in Tamil Nadu for the 'forthcoming' polls, possibly referring to next year's Lok Sabha elections.
Asked if his party would be a part of an alliance whose constituents could be the Trinamool Congress or Congress, the veteran Communist leader said: "alliances in India have and will always take place primarily at the state level first." "Then on that basis, the national alliance will emerge," he said, adding "things happen only after elections" at the national level, indicating at the possibility of a post-poll arrangement.
Responding to Rajinikanth's statement that Modi was 'strong' electorally, Yechury recalled the poll results of 2004 and 2014, even as he said he was a fan of the actor's films. "I have great respect for Mr Rajinikanth as an actor. I am a fan of his films. Fifteen years ago in 2004, when we were in the midst of campaigning (during the then Parliamentary elections), your earlier generation of reporters used to ask us the same question-- who is the alternative to Mr Vajpayee," he said.
It was then said that there was no alternative to the BJP stalwart and how could the BJP be defeated, he added. "What happened (in 2004 polls, which the BJP lost). After Jawaharlal Nehru, the longest serving Prime Minister uninterrupted was Dr Manmohan Singh...the alternative came (in 2014)," he said in an apparent reference to Modi leading the BJP to a thumping victory. Such things were 'speculative' in nature, he added.
(With inputs from agencies.)