CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury Tuesday called on DMK President M K Stalin in a bid to take forward the opposition attempt to stitch a mega alliance against the BJP at the Centre, and expressed confidence that such a coalition would indeed take shape. Yechury said that the two parties will contest the upcoming elections in 2019 together.
Yechury said that more than the leaders' 'attitude', it was "people from the ground" who would 'push' them to save India, making them come together.
Following the meeting, Yechury told “We have decided today that in Tamil Nadu we will be with the DMK in the forthcoming elections. We are together on the issue of saving the unity, integrity and harmony of the people of India and the country's constitutional institutions."
Stalin tweeted about his meeting with the Left party leader: "Had a good meeting with @SitaramYechury. We discussed in detail about the alliance in order to defeat the BJP government at the Centre in the 2019 General Elections. #RoadTo2019"
Had a good meeting with @SitaramYechury. We discussed in detail about the alliance in order to defeat the BJP government at the Centre in the 2019 General Elections. #RoadTo2019 pic.twitter.com/uipkepTyJ2— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) November 13, 2018
Responding to actor Rajinikanth's statement, virtually backing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a 'strong' man electorally, Yechury referred to the earlier defeats of the late Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2004 and his successor Manmohan Singh in 2014.
Asked about attempts being made by Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, N Chandrababu Naidu and Mamata Banerjee respectively, to cobble together anti-BJP fronts and if a 'Mahagatbandhan' (mega alliance) would become a reality, he said, "It will."
"Political parties would be able to iron out their differences for this purpose More than the attitude of the leaders, it is the people from the ground who will push all the leaders to come together to save India. And it will happen," Yechury said.
He said it was important for all secular-minded parties who value Indian democracy, the Indian republic and unity of the people to come together in defense of the country, and on that basis, to create a better India.
"That is the objective that both Stalin and I share along with all other leaders. We have a common objective and this is going to be done along with all the other secular democratic forces in the country," he said.
Asked if his party would be a part of an alliance whose constituents could be the Trinamool Congress or Congress, the veteran Communist leader said "alliances in India have and will always take place primarily at the state level first. Then on that basis, the national alliance will emerge," he said, adding "things happen only after elections" at the national level, indicating at the possibility of a post-poll arrangement.
Responding to Rajinikanth's statement that Modi was 'strong' electorally, Yechury recalled the poll results of 2004 and 2014, even as he said he was a fan of the actor's films.
"I have great respect for Mr Rajinikanth as an actor. I am a fan of his films. Fifteen years ago in 2004, when we were in the midst of campaigning (during the then Parliamentary elections),your earlier generation of reporters used to ask us the same question-- who is the alternative to Mr Vajpayee," he said.
It was then said that there was no alternative to the BJP stalwart and how could the BJP be defeated, he added.
"What happened (in 2004 polls, which the BJP lost). After Jawaharlal Nehru, the longest serving Prime Minister uninterrupted was Dr Manmohan Singh. The alternative came (in 2014)," he said in an apparent reference to Modi leading the BJP to a thumping victory. Such things were 'speculative' in nature, he added.
Stalin, on 9 November, had met TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is also on a mission to create a grand anti-BJP alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Stalin had told the media after the meeting with Naidu: “I have already made a request to all (non-BJP) Chief Ministers and leaders in the country to work together to unseat the BJP, which is keen on snatching away the autonomy of the State governments."
Naidu had said that anti-BJP parties would meet in New Delhi on November 22 to create a common platform and chalk out their future course of action.
The TDP chief had recently met former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and his Karnataka counterpart H D Kumaraswamy as well.
Replying to questions, he said there were only "two platforms" in the country BJP and anti-BJP.
"Political parties should decide which side they are. If they don't join us, it means they are with BJP," he said.
(With PTI inputs)