CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday criticized the Delhi Police’s ‘unprecedented’ action of detaining Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi on their way to meet the family members of the ex-serviceman, who committed suicide on Tuesday in protest against the non-implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP).
While delivering Hashim Abdul Halim Memorial Lecture, titled ‘Federalism and Democracy in India’, at Kala Mandir in the city, Yechury said, “An ex-serviceman has ended his life because OROP has not been implemented and when some political leaders went to meet his family members, they were held by the police. This is unprecedented. The government has called it a measure taken to avert a law and order problem, but the condition was perfectly normal when I left for Kolkata this (Wednesday) morning.”
Opposition leaders, including Rahul, Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia were detained by the police when they tried to meet the family of Ram Kishan Grewal, 70, who killed self by consuming poison on the compound of a government building at Janpath in the heart of the national capital.
“I don’t know what is wrong with this government at the Centre. Why are they resorting to such tactics? What happened with Rahul Gandhi and Manish Sisodia is unprecedented. Such things never happened before. Such things should not happen in a democracy,” the CPM general secretary said.
He alleged that the suicide was a reflection of a feeling of betrayal of promises by the Narendra Modi government. “The government had made a lot of promises to the retired servicemen. The pledges have remained unresolved though the government has never stopped parising the valour and courage of the armed forces,” Yechury rued.
Lashing out at BJP and RSS for trying hard to implement the Uniform Civil Code, the veteran Marxist said the code was designed to break the sovereignty of the country and create a Hindu Rashtra, thereby serving the purpose of the majority here, much against the Indian culture.
“The ruling party’s push for UCC is against the basic Indian spirit of unity in diversity. Unilaterality is being preached. And this attempt to push unilaterality is against the federal structure of the nation with its four pillars of secularism, democracy, social justice and economic self- reliance,” he added. An attempt is being made to replace the parliamentary form of governance with a presidential form, he claimed.
Yechury also drew a parallel between the Central government and the state administration, claiming that the situation in Bengal was a lot similar, given the innumerable attempts to silence the voice of the Opposition. “Didi bhai and Modi bhai are working in tandem. Their ideologies are similar,” he said.
On the recent Bhopal encounter, he said, “Facts are different from what the government states. Even the National Human Rights Commission has sought an explanation. There should be a high-level judicial inquiry into the incident under a sitting judge.”
He advised a thorough political dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue. “Why is the alienation of the people of Kashmir deepening? All of a sudden farmers have been asked to evacuate their homes. This is the time of harvest and we think that those who have left a standing crop should be adequately compensated by Centre,” he said.