On his first visit to Kolkata after taking over as the general secretary of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Sitaram Yechury, at a press conference on Sunday, lambasted the ruling Trinamool Congress over the manner in which the municipal polls were conducted in Bengal, terming the entire process “a mockery of democracy”.
He, however, said that the silver lining was the huge turnout of voters, including women, who stood up against the terror unleashed by TMC.
“Widespread resistance was also reported against the growing terror. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only way democracy can be restored in West Bengal and the only answer to political terror. Not only the intimidation, the manipulation was so widespread that polling touched 104 per cent at a place (referring to the alleged booth-capturing at Ward 32 during KMC polls on April 18),” Yechury said.
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On the party’s policy towards tackling the violence, he said, “What the ruling party committed was a murder of democracy and if nothing but resistance would stop them, then it will be done. I salute all comrades of the CPM and the Left Front who put up a resistance. It will be a hallmark.”
Yechury said that there will be a countrywide campaign to tell the people about the situation in Bengal. He also said that all political parties who believe in democracy should join the movement.
The leader said the party had written to the Election Commission of India (ECI), asking it to study how election was conducted to take lessons for the Assembly polls next year.
Referring to the steady decline in the number of CPM members in Bengal, he said the party’s policy would be first to tackle this issue and then reverse the trend. “We appeal to people who cherish democracy to rise against this tyranny (of TMC). Even at the Centre, we have a government who wants to implement anti-people policies. The Modi government is patronising communalism of RSS in the name of Hindutva and we should all oppose it. In West Bengal, too, the danger is huge as there is a prevailing majority communalism and minority communalism, something that the people here never witnessed before,” he said.
He also hinted at the “possibility” of a secret understanding between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress.
“Parliament sessions are on. It will soon be clear depending on whether the TMC opposes anti-people policies such as the Good and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the Rajya Sabha.”
Yechury later visited party workers who had been injured in the post-poll violence at the Nil Ratan Sarkar Hospital, Calcutta Medical College and R G Kar Hospital, before he left for New Delhi.