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Need to build alternative narrative around Modi govt's failures: CPI (M)

Amit Shah has reduced Modi's promise of jobs into a 'chunavi jumla': Yechury

Archis Mohan  |  New Delhi 

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. Photo: PTI
CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. Photo: PTI

Calling for the need to build an alternative narrative against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), one that focuses on the government’s failure to deliver on promises of to youths and reducing farm distress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday released a report card of the three years of this government.

Party chief said the coming presidential election would be a test of Opposition unity for the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. Some among non-Democratic Alliance (NDA) parties like the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, YSR Congress and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are willing to support a BJP nominee, with the result that the electoral college numbers stacked against any Opposition nominee.

But, Yechury disagreed. “is not arithmetic. In arithmetic, two plus two is four. In politics, two plus two can be zero but it can also be 22. Don’t mechanically reduce it to arithmetic,” he said.

Yechury and politburo member highlighted how the Modi government had failed on its promise to provide 20 million a year, both in the organised sector and in rural areas. The chief said job growth had been the lowest in eight core industries, with a meagre 135,000 generated in 2015 and 231,000 in 2016. 

Yechury said BJP chief Amit Shah’s defence that the government has encouraged self-employment wasn’t credible. On May 26, Shah had said it was impossible to provide to all in a country of 1.25 billion people. The BJP president had said that instead the Modi government has spurred self-employment by providing Mudra Bank loans to nearly 75 million people.

Yechury said just as the BJP chief had declared Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha poll promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in each bank account as a ‘chunavi jumla’, or a poll slogan, he has reduced another of the promise - that of 20 million a year - into a ‘chunavi jumla’. Terming the defence “atrocious”, Yechury and Karat said government data itself admit to 12,000 farmers committing suicide every year. 

The two pointed out how the information technology (IT) sector is retrenching people by thousands and rural wages under the rural scheme to the tune of Rs 16,000 crore are unpaid. Karat said MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employement Guarantee Act) is being “sabotaged” by the government, and the Centre was targeting Left Front governments in Tripura and Kerala by “squeezing” funds.

Yechury said the rich have become richer and poor poorer during the three years of the Modi government. He said the richest one per cent Indians accounted for 49 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, and by 2016 they had come to control 58.4 per cent of the GDP.

The CPI(M) also termed the Centre's recent notification relating to cattle slaughter as “encroachment” upon the powers of the states and demanded revoking of the “unilateral” decision. Karat said the notification was in “contempt” of the Supreme Court's stay on the Himachal Pradesh High Court's order for a ban on cow slaughter.