Modi is emerging as UPA III: Yechury

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on February 02, 2015

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury

Left will oppose budgetary cuts in social sector spending, says CPI(M) leader

The CPI(M) is all set for a leadership change in April. As most of the district and State conferences of the party are over, all eyes are now on the party congress to be held in Visakhapatnam.

Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury talked to BusinessLine on his party’s revival plans, its strategy for the upcoming Budget session, and the ‘debate’ over secularism.

Arun Jaitley will present his first ‘full’ Budget this month. Given the recent policy decisions announced by the Centre, particularly on the subsidy regime, what are your expectations?

Left parties will definitely oppose any reduction in social sector expenditure. What has been given already in the Food Security Bill and in the MGNREGS is inadequate.

It should be extended further. The Narendra Modi government is actually reversing whatever has already been given. This is violation of the laws passed by Parliament.

Modi in one sense is also emerging, apart from the communal aspect, as UPA III on the economic front. He is taking UPA II policies to a logical culmination.

This was apparent during the recent visit of US President Barack Obama. An important endeavour of Obama was to open up India’s markets to US corporates.

He has succeeded in doing that. Not only in defence production, but also on intellectual property rights, India accepted his country’s positions.

This opens up the entire pharmaceuticals industry, making drugs more expensive. New avenues have been created for US MNCs to maximise their profits. Modi is implementing Obama’s strategy of ‘Made in USA’. All these measures, including the proposed changes to the Civil Nuclear Liability law, will be opposed in the Budget session.

Left parties had staged protests to oppose Obama’s visit. What were your main objections?

Obama got what he wanted. Now the US economy is in doldrums. In the sixth year after the global meltdown, there is no solution in sight.

The only way the US economy can revive is by reviving its now dormant military industrial complex.

His primary purpose was to extend the Indo-US defence cooperation and in the process make India a US ally in South Asia. That will also serve the purposes of containing China.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wants a debate on secularism. Are you ready for it?

There is no scope for a debate. Asking for a debate is betraying their intention of wanting to transform the secular democratic Indian republic into the RSS concept of a Hindu Rashtra.

That is their real objective. Modi and his entire Cabinet have been sworn in under this Constitution, which talks about secularism and socialism.

So if they are today violating it, they are violating their own oath.

When four State governments participated in the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Centre dismissed those governments. The case went up to the Supreme Court.

A Constitutional bench ruled that secularism, among other features, is the fundamental feature of the Republic of India. So the matter is settled.

Your party’s conferences are underway. There are reports that the CPI(M) is divided over its approach towards the Congress…

On issues of communalism, we will cooperate with all secular forces to safeguard our Republic.

But it must be kept in mind that it was because of the policies followed by the Congress that the communal forces were allowed to pose a threat to the country. So we will continue to oppose the Congress’ policies.

Our first emphasis is to strengthen the CPI(M) and expand its influence. We will strengthen the Left by bringing a large number of smaller forces to the Left Front.

The third measure is to strengthen all the non-Congress secular opposition forces in the fight against communalism.

These three are not contradictory to each other. They dovetail to a single objective.

Published on February 02, 2015

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