Left determined to take on challenge posed by 'Hindutva communalism': Sitaram Yechury

''We have appealed to all secular forces to come together to meet this challenge. But it is up to these secular forces whether they are willing to rise to the occasion,'' Yechury said.
Left determined to take on challenge posed by 'Hindutva communalism': Sitaram Yechury
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury

Kannur: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Sunday said the Left is determined to take on the challenge of ''Hindutva communalism'' and his party has reached out to all secular forces to come together, but some like the Congress have not responded.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 23rd CPI(M) party congress at the Jawahar stadium here, he alleged that the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are attempting to destroy the nation's federal structure through ''diktats'' like mandatory use of Hindi for official correspondence and compulsorily teaching the language in the schools in northeastern states.

The veteran Left leader stressed the need to unify all secular forces and significantly strengthen the CPI(M) to enhance its political intervention capacity in order to effectively meet the challenge posed by the BJP and its government at the Centre.

The central government is ''pursuing unbridled neoliberal economic policies, looting the country's national assets... legalising political corruption and establishing an increasingly growing authoritarian order in the state which attacks the democratic rights and civil liberties of all the people guaranteed under the Constitution,'' he said.

''We have appealed to all secular forces to come together to meet this challenge. But it is up to these secular forces whether they are willing to rise to the occasion,'' Yechury said.

''When we want all secular forces to come together, you have parties like the Congress -- whom we invited, but they did not respond. Not only do they not respond, but if any of their leaders want to join (the discussions), they are threatened with disciplinary action. So, we tell the Congress that if it is a secular force as it claims to be, then it has to decide where it stands,'' he said.

If they cannot look beyond their political differences and come together for the benefit of the nation, then their secular credentials ''are suspect'', he added.

Yechury said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Left has become a marginal force which is only there in one corner of India -- Kerala.

''At the same time, he says that though it is a marginal force, it is a force, it has an ideology which has to be combated and defeated. He recognises that this ideology is something which will continue to seek the overthrow of this exploitation in our society and the exploitative order.

''So they recognise our strength and therefore, treat us as a principal enemy to attack us, to intimidate us, to instill fear... but that won't deter us,'' he said.

Recalling history, Yechury said during World War II, it was the communist red flag of Russia that announced to the world that fascism had been defeated.

Therefore, people who hope that this force can be destroyed must be reminded that ''history is testament to the fact that there is no power on earth that can either destroy or even dilute the power of the red flag,'' he said.

He asserted the CPI(M) is ''the most consistent force, the most determined force that can take on the challenge of Hindutva communalism in our country''.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who was also present on the occasion, attacked the Congress, the BJP and a section of the media, saying the people of the state rejected their ''fake narratives'' against the state government and passed a verdict in favour of the Left party.

''The Left government was being attacked by the central agencies from one side, while the evening news debaters attacked us from the other side. However, the people of Kerala, with a clear conviction, ignored them all and gave us a clear verdict and handed the power to us once again,'' he said.

In an apparent reference to protests by the Congress and the BJP against the ambitious SilverLine project, the chief minister said the CPI(M) intends to move forward with developmental projects in the state.

''That was a judgment passed by the people of the state, asking us to carry forward with the developmental projects in the state. We are bound to follow the verdict of the people. Don't think it can be stopped,'' Vijayan said.

''We all want the state to develop. It's not just for us but for the future generation, for the future of the state. For that, let's stand together and move forward. This party congress has asked us to move forward,'' he added.

The CPI(M) party congress re-elected Yechury as the party general secretary for the third consecutive term. He will lead the party for the next three years. The party congress also selected a 17-member polit bureau.

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