The Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the opposition parties might be supporting the farmers but have no direct role in the agitation against new farm laws. “Over 200 farmer unions have come under the banner of Sanyukt Kisam Morcha(SKM) and have been opposing the pro-corporate farm laws for past several months. We are with the SKM but let me clarify, the entire agitation is being piloted by farmer leaders. It would be better if the government breaks ice with them(SKM) instead of blaming the opposition for failure of the ongoing talks, ” Yechury told IANS while advocating the stand of all opposition parties.
Expressing concern over the escalating showdown between the farmer unions and the Modi Government, the CPI(M) leader said almost all opposition leaders including him, want that this deadlock over farm laws should immediately end. “The repeated failures (of the talks) would escalate unrest in rural India. We are really worried about health of thousands of aged farmers who are sitting on a dharna on the borders of the Capital. Till now 40 farmers have died in the cold wave. So it’s important to end this deadlock. I request that the government should call all the stakeholders. Discuss the issues openly with them…and accept their demands,” Yechury said, adding, “or else convene the session of the Parliament, discuss the farm laws, scrap the objectionable parts and bring the new laws which support the farmers demands.”
Endorsing the call of Shiv Sena for a united front of opposition under Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar, the CPI(M) leader said that though he supports Sena’s gesture but the leader should be a consensus candidate. “Sharad Pawar is one of most able leaders in the present situation but once all parties come under one umbrella, the leader can be decided. Still, I would like to stress that current political situation of the country requires a strong and objective opposition,” added Yechury.
On being asked that whether a weak Congress, the principle opponent party against BJP, translates into a weak opposition, Comrade Yechury said that to a large extent it is the truth. “We all wish that a stronger Congress would mean a much stronger Opposition. But I cannot comment on the internal developments of the party,” he quipped.
On leaving Mamata Banerjee alone and allying with Congress in poll-bound West Bengal, Sitaram Yechury opined that the primary objective was to prevent the BJP from forming a government in Bengal next year. “In fact BJP desperately wants that Mamata should join us. But we realise that a massive anti-incumbency wave against Mamata would dent our prospects. Therefore we decided that all Left parties and the Congress would contest as a front, leaving Mamata on the other side. We feel that such a triangular fight would have more impact against the BJP.”
Commenting on the differences between Janata Dal(United)and Bharatiya Janata Party over the recent developments in Arunachal Pradesh wherein several JDU MLAS switched to the BJP, the veteran Left leader said old allies Akali Dal and Shiv Sena were compelled to walk out from the NDA. “For me, Nitishji is one of the most experienced politicians. I hope he understands what BJP or Jan Sangh have done to their socialist allies in the past. I have a lot of respect for him (Nitish Kumar). In 2019 we wanted to project him as the Prime Minister candidate. In fact, it was Nitish who had initiated the move to bring the entire opposition under one umbrella. But surprisingly he took a u-turn and joined Mr. Modi. Anyway, we all still respect Nitish ji. It’s for him to decide his next move. I can only ensure our doors are open for him,” the CPI(M)leader, known for cobbling alliance under one umbrella of opposition, said.