CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday accused the BJP and RSS of trying to implement their agenda of neo-liberal economic reforms in the country in the garb of fighting COVID-19.
He claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the call for strengthening ”Atma-nirbharta” (self-reliance), but in reality it is ”atma-samarpan” (surrender) before Indian and foreign capitalism.
“India”s assets are being looted and the Modi government is surrendering the country to foreign and Indian capitalism for facilitating their profits,” Yechury said while delivering the Jyoti Basu Memorial Lecture on the occasion of former West Bengal chief minister”s 107th birthday.
“The real agenda of BJP and RSS is to aggressively implement neo-liberal economic reforms in the name of fighting the pandemic,” he said, delivering the lecture through a social media network.
He claimed the opposition against both the privatisation of government assets and the Narendra Modi”s policies is increasing.
Yechury said a three-day strike was held in coal sector after a similar stir in ordnance factories against such privatisation bids.
Crony capitalism is being encouraged by the BJP leadership, while labour rights are being curtailed, Yechury claimed.
He said “the central government should have made fighting corona its biggest priority, but it has dithered”.
“The improper and inadequate implementation of lockdown did not get the desired effect and led to untold miseries for the poor migrant labourers instead,” he said.
The CPI(M) general secretary alleged that the PM Cares fund for receiving donations to deal with the pandemic situation is “neither transparent nor accountable or auditable”.
Yechury questioned the need for creating the ”PM Cares Fund” when there already was a Prime Minister”s Relief Fund which he said is transparent.
Alleging inept handling of the pandemic, he said with the number of coronavirus cases increasing in the country, the central government has lifted lockdown restrictions and has passed over the responsibility of dealing with it to state governments.
The CPI(M) general secretary said the opposition should learn from Jyoti Basu and work together in the interest of the people.
“Basu”s main opposition to Mamata Banerjee was that she was bringing the RSS and the BJP to Bengal and this has proved to be very true in the present context as if it was a prophecy,” he said.
He alleged that the TMC and the BJP were strengthening each other”s communal politics and thus creating a divide among the people of the state.
Claiming that the communal politics of the BJP can be defeated only by a democratic, secular force, he asked if it was possible for the TMC to keep the saffron party at bay in West Bengal, which, he said, has a rich history of communal harmony.
Yechury said Jyoti Basu would have asked the party to go to the people in such difficult situations and the people would have shown the right path for going ahead to deal with such problems.
“Basu would have wanted you to apologies to the people if you have erred and they would have shown you the right path to fight the present challenge,” he said.
He claimed whoever talks of people”s rights and raises voice against the government is charged with sedition or offences under NSA or UAPA.
Opposing the Election Commission’s proposal for allowing postal ballot for voters above 65 years of age in the upcoming Bihar assembly elections, he alleged it is prone to manipulation.
He alleged that the BJP government at the Centre is aligning with the USA and serving its agenda to alienate China.
“We have always been saying that war is not the solution of differences between India and China and these have to be solved through dialogue,” he said.
He said attempts are being made to malign communists in the country with regard to differences with China.