Don't want TMC in anti-BJP grouping because of strong anti-incumbency against it: Sitaram Yechury

KOLKATA: The CPI(M)’s prime objective is to defeat BJP in the upcoming West Bengal polls but in the pursuit of this it doesn’t want to take along the TMC because of strong anti-incumbency sentiment prevailing against Mamata Banerjee government which would drive people away from us, its General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Monday.

Besides, the people are well aware of the TMC’s track record in the last 20 years when it had alliance with the saffron party and its leaders served as ministers in the BJP- led NDA coalition, Yechury said.

Yechury, who was addressing media after attending the party state committee meeting here, said the Marxists will have poll understanding with the Congress and traditonal allies like the other Left parties and non-Left allies like NCP and RJD in Bengal elections.

“The anti-incumbency sentiment against the TMC government runs so deep and so large that any unity of all the anti-BJP forces will only help the BJP more. It will be counter productive.

“People have great anger against the TMC. Aligning with Trinamool will therefore only turn people against us and help the BJP,” the Communist Party of India(Marxist) leader said.

Further elaborating on the issue, Yechury said,”Everyone knows the TMC track record in the last 20 years as how it entered into alliances with the BJP and even served as ministers in the NDA cabinet”.

He said the BJP and the TMC are trying to turn the approaching elections in Bengal as bipolar event, but the forces opposed to them would “rupture” this.

“Our objective is to defeat the BJP and isolate the TMC. Give alternatives to people on the issues of their livelihood, focussing on the plank of job, food, health and education,” he said.

“The issue is whether lives of the people can be bettered after polls. On that issue, there is no solution from either the BJP or the TMC,” he said.

Farmers agitation against agri laws, demand for proper procurement price for paddy and the issues of migrant labourers would be the dominant narratives in the polls, the CPI(M) leader said.

The CPI(M) and the Congress, which have agreed to an alliance, are in the process of a seat sharing arrangement for the West Bengal assembly elections.

“Preliminary discussions have taken place with the Congrees and seat adjustment process is on,” Yechury said.

To a question if the Congress has asked for 120-140 seats in the polls, Yechury said “seat adjustment process is on. But, there is no such demand from Congress.”

Elections to the 294-member Bengal assembly is due in April-May this year.

He blamed the centre for the farmers agitation against the new agri laws.

Yechury said though the TMC is protesting against the centre on the new agri legislations, but the fact is that the farmers are not getting minimum support price of their produce under TMC regime in West Bengal as well.

The CPI(M)-led Left Front which included CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc ruled Bengal for 34 years from 1977 and 2011.

Mamata Banerjee had demolished the left bastion in the state in 2011 and since then she is on the chief ministerial chair.

The CPI(M) and its allies slide continue in the state politics and they failed to win even a single seat in Bengal in 2019 general elections.

The Congress managed two seats.

The BJP has replaced the CPI(M) and the Congress as principal opponent to Trinamool Congress in Bengal winning 18 out of total 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, only four less than the TMC’s tally of 22.

Since then the saffron party is making all efforts to win the coming state polls and form its government in Bengal.

On the issue of DCGI giving nod to vaccines for using in India’s drive against COVID-19, Yechury said “India has a healthy tradition of providing safe scientifically sound vaccination to people as largest vaccine producer.

“The scientific basis and universal access – there cannot be any compromise on that…In order to be in hurry there shouldn’t be any compromise on safe and scientific trials.”