Communist Leader Sitaram Yechury criticises Modi; terms central government authoritarian

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 16 September 2016, 05:42 PM

Amidst reports of senior Communist leader of CPI(M) Prakash Karat and other leftist politicians terming the Modi government as "authoritarian" and not "fascist", veteran CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury asserted that current situation in India was not "fascist" of a variety as seen in Germany in 1930s, but claimed it can develop in the manner "if allowed to grow". 

Yechury aired his views during a talk on "Is the Left in India Dying?" here. He further pitched for restraining the situation from becoming "fascist" allegedly under the NDA government "for the sake of India". Discussing a variety of issues grappling India, the CPI(M) General Secretary said that the present situation in the country had made the Left "more relevant" and "crucial" for the nation''s future. 

"The issue (of authoritarian or fascist nature of government) has been settled within party. As far as fascism is concerned, we are clear...what we have today in India is not fascism of a variety which was seen in Germany in 1930s. "But if the situation is allowed to progress (in India), it can lead up to that. The point is to stop that for the sake of India," he said. 

Karat, who is seen within CPI(M) as opposed to idea of having an alliance with Congress as against Yechury who is perceived as open to such an alliance, had made the remark in an article in an English daily recently. When asked the question of CPI(M)'s alliance with Congress (during West Bengal polls), Yechury replied "It is not a question of alliances. What we are saying is there should be unity of forces which today are ready to preserve the secular, democratic Constitutional values of our country". 

He also claimed that the importance of Left should not be measured "only by its electoral presence" as he discussed it's role amid problems faced by the country.

He said that the country's economy was in a bad shape with index of industrial production plunging and agrarian crisis deepening. Yechury further noted that farmers were committing suicides, as they were incapable of clearing debts at a time "when lakhs of crore rupee loans taken by Indian corporates" is waived off. He also discussed that "relentless" rise in inflation has put "greater" burden on the people.

The senior politician described the current turmoil in Kashmir as "threat" to country's unity, while expressing concerns over the government "virtually suspending" talks with Pakistan. Yechury also attacked Modi government's foreign policy towards US, contending that New Delhi's decision to sign Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with Washington will make India it's "junior" partner along with putting a huge strain on ties with neighbouring China.

While criticizing the agreement as being against India's interests, Yechury said, "To put it in a nutshell, the situation before the country is such that the relevance of the Left is increasing and it will increase further. "So, it is far from dying. The Left is crucial for the future of India...to make it better," he added.

First Published: Friday, September 16, 2016 05:09 PM

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