CPIM(M) leader Sitaram Yechury spoke to The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla for the talkshow ‘Teekhi Baat’ on IBN7 channel. Excerpts.
Hello! I am Prabhu Chawla, and our guest for today on Teekhi Baat is CPI(M) politburo’s firebrand leader Sitaram Yechury. Welcome to our studio.
SY: Thank you, Prabhuji!
So, the CPM is back to the bad old ways, beating up opponents including the chief minister and finance minister (of West Bengal).
Beat up? They were not even scratched.
They were admitted in hospital.
It is their habit to go to hospital; we’ve seen that earlier too.
Is the CPI(M) back to its tactics?
This is an orchestrated incident. You know there is one VIP gate at the Planning Commission, you know it. Policemen told them to go via VIP gate, as protests were happening in front of the other gate. Now, protesting is our right.
You think they were just creating a drama?
This is orchestrated because she came in via the gate which she should not have used. When police has given you an escort and told you which gate to use, even then they insisted on the other gate. There was not a scratch on the CM.
But the finance minister was hurt.
That is wrong. There is one quality in communists, if we commit a mistake, we accept it.
You agree now that it was a mistake to bring Morarji Desai’s government down, that it was a blunder not to make Jyoti Basu the PM.
We agree and try not to do a blunder again.
Do electoral defeats indicate Marxism is becoming irrelevant, like your base in Andhra, Tripura and West Bengal is declining.
Electoral reverses do not indicate that your acceptance or social relevance is declining. But, on the issue of electoral results, I agree with you that in the past five to seven years, our vote share has lessened.
Why, because you seemed closer to the Congress?
No, that is not true.
But during Presidential elections, you said you will vote for a Bengali, where was the ideology there, he was a Congress leader.
We made it clear that our party will not support the candidate that BJP supports. Besides, Pranabda has been a big figure in national politics.
But he is from the Congress.
See when a man with 60 years of experience attains the post of President, the country will benefit, that is what we believed and still do.
The government has often found itself in a minority on issues. Why don’t your party or the BJP bring a no confidence motion? Is it because nobody wants elections?
This government could have fallen on two occasions; if the BJP had supported on the issue of insurance sector bill, and then on pension reforms. On these, if they had voted for us, the government would have fallen, but the BJP is with them on economic issues.
Despite being a minority, the Congress has always won trust votes.
Because they have the SP and BSP with them.
Will you support even if the BJP is on the same page as you?
To make our United Front government fall, Congress and BJP are on same page.
That was on DMK issue, I had done a story.
Prabhuji, you broke the Jain commission report and didn’t Congress and BJP come together after that to make the government fall?
There is a periodic talk of third front, but Advaniji recently said that no government can be formed without BJP or Congress.
A third front for name’s sake is not good.
You will never join government?
We will join the government when we have the power to direct policies.
Who can be part of non Congress, non BJP government?
There are many parties, we will have to talk to them.
You have not started as yet?
We have a year left and that’s a long time.
If Mulayam, Jayalalithaa, Naveen and the JD(U) are with you, but what if their policies are almost similar to BJP or Congress?
They cannot take it for granted that they will take the Left along and enforce their policies.
Are you hinting that you can form government by taking support from Congress?
I am indicating that what you see as one party today may not be there tomorrow.
You feel that the Congress and BJP can break?
It is possible.
You will take support from one faction?