With several opposition parties holding a meeting aimed at forging unity for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Monday ruled out any alliance with the TMC in West Bengal and said that secular parties along with the Left and the Congress will take on the BJP as well as the TMC in the state.
Speaking to reporters at the venue of the two-day meeting to be attended by him, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and other leaders, Yechury referred to the 2004 model which brought the Left-Congress coalition to power at the Centre.
”The situation is different in every state. The effort is to ensure that in these situations the division of votes which gives BJP the advantage should be minimal. This is not a new thing. Like in 2004, the Left had 61 seats, out of which we won 57 defeating the Congress candidates…then Manmohan Singh government was formed and it ran for 10 years.
”Mamata and CPI(M) will not happen. There will be secular parties along with the Left and the Congress in West Bengal which will fight against the BJP and TMC,” the CPI(M) general secretary said, adding that at the Centre what form this will take will be decided later.
He also said that the road to be taken is similar to the one that led them to form the government at the Centre in 2004.
Top leaders of 26 opposition parties are expected to attend the two-day meeting in Bengaluru where they are likely to start work on a common minimum programme and announce a joint agitational plan to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
West Bengal has been a bone of contention within the Opposition ranks with the Left parties and Mamata Banerjee’s TMC not seeing eye to eye. The Left parties have also attacked Banerjee over the violence in the recently concluded panchayat polls in the state.
However, the two have shared the stage on several occasions at Opposition-related events.
The BJP has often highlighted differences among the opposition parties in various states, including West Bengal, to claim that they are a ”divided lot” and have no specific programme other than to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Hitting out at the BJP for claiming that it has 31 parties along with it, Yechury said that the biggest parties of the Northeast, the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Akali Dal are no longer with it.
”Now they are searching everywhere to find small parties to add to their numbers,” he said.
Asked about the face of the opposition to take on Prime Minister Modi, Yechury said that in 2004, the Left-Congress coalition emerged victorious despite the stature of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
”The road is like in 2004. As for the face of the opposition, we have given them the answer in 2004 when Manmohan Singh became PM even when a charismatic leader like Vajpayee was the face of the BJP,” he said.
With inputs from News18