The Trinamul Congress won’t be able to have a monopoly in the 19 party Opposition coalition against the BJP government that now has announced three weeks of celebrations observing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday which we ought to observe as ‘National Unemployment Day’, said CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Addressing the press in Kolkata, Yechury clarified there is no chance for TMC to have a monopoly in the 19 party coalition formed to fight the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, and which will only succeed when each party has equal contribution in it.
He further said, the TMC government in Bengal must make clear their position as to whether it would support the upcoming Bharat Bandh to which the Congress and the CPI-M have already lent support. Yechury, however, highlighted there is no question of compulsion and it is up to the state governments to decide whether and how they will support the strike called by the Sanjukta Kisan Morcha.
His comment comes in the wake of the recent meeting between Trinamul supremo Mamata Banerjee and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, following which Mrs Gandhi announced that the Congress will not field any candidate in the bypoll for Bhawanipore Assembly constituency where Miss Banerjee is the TMC candidate.
The CPI-M fielded its candidate instead and announced that the candidate strictly represents the Left Front and not the ‘Sanjukta Morcha’, the coalition formed in 2021 state polls between CPI-M, Congress and the ISF.
Yechury lampooned BJP’s announcement of a three-week celebration observing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on 17 September. “We ought to observe National Unemployment Day on this date. Ever since Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, unemployment has increased double-fold. In 2016, it was 15.66 per cent which jumped to 28.26 per cent by 2021. In August, the rate increased to 32.03 per cent but our PM and his government are preoccupied with birthday celebrations.”
The central government is spending lakhs of money in making advertisements to pat itself on the back when it should be doing direct bank transfers to the unemployed, and provide free food to the poor whose numbers are increasing, he felt.
“More than 50 per cent of country’s assets are being handed over to about 10 per cent of business tycoons with close ties with the Modi government,” Yechury alleged. He criticised the Union finance ministry’s policy of the National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) that would deal with “bad banks”.
“This is the legalisation of loot of public money. We saw its repercussions earlier when loans were granted from public sector banks to certain individuals who then escaped the country and till date, the Modi government has not been able to extradite them to India though crores is being spent in the process.
The CPI-M along with other parties in the Opposition coalition is calling for public protest from 20-30 September against the central government’s policy. This includes supporting the Bharat Bandh.”