Opposition parties should come together to fight multiple challenges Indian democracy faces today, and if complete unity is not possible, they should “march separately and strike together”, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and JD(U) rebel leader Sharad Yadav said on Wednesday. They were speaking at an event to mark the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, who had played a pivotal role in uniting the Opposition against Indira Gandhi’s Congress.
Pointing out that the three values JP stood for — freedom, democracy and development — are facing serious threats today, Yechury said, “The threats against these values are similar to what we had seen during the Emergency. If JP was alive (today), he would have made us sit together.” Yechury said even if there are differences between parties, they should adopt the approach to “march separately, strike together”.
Maintaining that farmers, youths and traders are upset with the BJP-led government, Sharad Yadav said that challenges before the opposition parties today are bigger than what JP had faced in the 1970s.
Shanti Bhushan, senior lawyer and Law Minister in the Morarji Desai government, said that JP had formed a party to defeat anti-democratic forces. “Again, dark clouds are looming over democracy, because a leader thinks that our problems can be resolved through his speeches…. 2019 will decided the future of democracy in this country,” he said, urging for opposition unity.