Breaking News
Home / Siasat / Lok Sabha polls crucial for India’s democracy: Yechury

Lok Sabha polls crucial for India’s democracy: Yechury

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha polls will be crucial in deciding whether the secular democratic character of the country will be maintained as the last 10 years have witnessed an “assault” on the fundamental pillars of democracy, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Wednesday.

He also asserted that the opposition INDIA bloc is gaining popularity among the people, but a lot will depend on whether all parties get a “level-playing field” in the polls.

In an interview with PTI, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) general secretary also termed the Lok Sabha polls as an “existential election” for the country.

MS Education Academy

The polls will decide “whether we are going to maintain our secular democratic character or not. The last 10 years have seen a serious erosion, I would call it in fact an assault on constitutional values and the fundamental pillars of our Constitution.

Secular democracy is one pillar with economic sovereignty, social justice and federalism being the others,” Yechury said.

“Are we going to safeguard the character, the secular democratic character of the Indian Republic? Or allow that to be further eroded? So that is why they are extremely important in the current juncture,” he said.

Yechury said the INDIA bloc was formed with the intention of safeguarding the Constitution and democracy, and the parties of the bloc are “deeply rooted” among the people.

“INDIA bloc was formed with this express intention that there is a need today to safeguard and further strengthen the Constitution, democracy, the human and civil liberties rights of the people guaranteed by our Constitution and the most important thing is the equality guaranteed by the Constitution and delivery of justice,” he said.

“The parties which have come together are committed to that,” he said.

The INDIA bloc, which includes around 40 opposition parties, first took shape at an opposition meeting held in Patna on June 18, 2023.

While exit of parties like the JD-U in Bihar and RLD in Uttar Pradesh, and delay in seat sharing agreements has been seen as a setback for the bloc, Yechury said the seat-sharing talks are going on in a positive direction, and will be concluded soon.

“Electoral politics, seat adjustments and alliances are not arithmetic. They are politics. It’s not that you add up two and two, it becomes four. Or you minus that. So it’s not a question of who’s leaving, who’s coming, etc. The question is on what are the principles on which people are joining,” Yechury said.

“If you want to reduce elections to commerce and to that sort of, you know, trading or horse trading in that sense, that’s a different matter, that’s not politics,” he said.

Underlining the important issues before the people ahead of the polls, the CPI(M) leader said livelihood is the most pressing issue before the people now.

“The main issue which predominantly preoccupies the people’s concerns is actually their living standards. For the last 10 years, statistics have shown there is hardly any improvement in employment levels. This sort of economic policies have led to complete destruction, not only in the economy, but people’s lives,” he said.

While employment is the main issue before the people, the BJP is trying to sway people through communal polarisation, Yechury charged.

“They (BJP) are trying to sway through communal polarisation, spread of hate and poisonous campaigns, etc.,” he charged.

However, it is not working for the BJP.

“And that is why this desperation of the BJP. Going state-by-state, they are splitting the parties, grossly misusing the ED, CBI, and certain agencies, and indulging in very, very crass house trading,” he alleged.

“Why are they so desperate if they are so confident about crossing 370 or 400. In every single state where the opposition is in a strong position, why is that whole concern of splitting those parties? Threatening them, intimidating them, and then making them move over to their party,” he said.

“And once they move over, all the cases simply vanish. Otherwise they will be jailed. I mean like those who refuse to succumb to them are in jail,” he said.

Asked about the BJP’s target of getting 370 seats, the Left leader said it will depend on how free and fair the polls are.

“All depends on if there is going to be a free and fair election. Level playing field of course is not there. With all the electoral bonds and…PM Cares, everywhere they get crores. I mean this is by far the costliest election in the world,” he said.

“There are all the doubts about the EVMs. We have been pleading with the Election Commission to meet a delegation of ours and address the issue of VVPATs and the EVMs but the Election Commission sadly has not really acceded to our request,” he said.

Yechury said there are a “lots of question marks”.

“Free and fair elections also means a level-playing field. That is not there. It doesn’t exist. Even today you see the misuse of government planes. You see the misuse of armed forces helicopters to ferry the prime minister and other leaders for political meetings,” he said.

However, the Election Commission doesn’t seem to think these are violations of the moral code. “So it all depends if the Election Commission actually succeeds in holding a free and fair election, then the results will be very very different from what the BJP propaganda is telling us,” he asserted.

Check Also

LinkedIn, Satya Nadella, 8 others fined for companies law violations

New Delhi: The corporate affairs ministry on Wednesday slapped fines on Microsoft-owned LinkedIn India, Satya …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *