The Patna powershift: He may have his reasons…this is very bad for the country, says Sitaram Yechury

The first indication we got was during the Presidential election. Earlier, when he supported the demonetisation...that we thought at the time of the Chidambaram book release he sort of corrected it, said Sitaram Yechury.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: July 28, 2017 9:42 am
Sitaram Yechury, Nitish Kumar, Grand Alliance, Bihar, Narendra Modi, Presidential Elections, BJP, India news, Indian Express Sitaram Yechury is an MP from West Bengal. (File)

The Indian Express speaks to leaders of four parties which are touched by the latest political storm.

Two years ago, the Opposition celebrated the victory of the Grand Alliance. Now it lies in tatters.

The moment Nitish Kumar announced support for the BJP in the presidential elections…I had said Nitish was being thought of as an alternative to the BJP in the 2019 elections, but with the sort of step that he has taken, that can no longer happen. At that time, one did not know he will go this far to form a coalition government with the BJP. After all, he was with the BJP for 17 years. He was with the BJP throught the communal holocaust in Gujarat. He may have his reasons…the fact is that this is very bad for the country.

Were you surprised? You read his mind in the Presidential elections?

I did. I did not think it will go this far. For whatever reasons, this is not a good development for the country.

You and the opposition have been trying to build up a counter narrative to the BJP and PM Narendra Modi. And he was key to that efforts. How big a blow is his exit?

It may be a very temporary setback. But remember, even when Nitish was with the BJP, a counter narrative was established in the country and the Vajpayee government was overthrown by the people. It may happen again. That is what we are trying. It will happen. The counter narrative will emerge.

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Nitish has in the past spoken about the need for opposition unity. You were at P Chidambaram’s book release in February when he pointed to Rahul Gandhi and said he should set the agenda and not let the BJP do it. That the opposition was not able to set the agenda was one of his grievances. Do you agree that the Congress as the biggest opposition party was not taking the initiative?

That is no excuse to go and join the BJP. It is not that the Congress will create the counter narrative. The counter narrative has to be created through people’s struggles. That is the only way. That is what the Left is trying to do. The concrete issue today is the unrest among peasantry. Where are they (JDU) in that struggle? A counter narrative cannot emerge with all the leaders sitting together in Delhi. It has be built through people’s struggles.

Is that happening?

What do you say about the entire peasant movement? That is how counter narratives begin. The narrative against Indira Gandhi began on an issue of corruption…the Navnirman movement in Gujarat and then it went on to the total revolution call by JP in Bihar…

Read | He may have his reasons…this is very bad for the country, says Sitaram Yechury

How can you blame Nitish when the CPM itself is not willing to have a truck with the Congress even for a single Rajya Sabha seat?

Counter narrative is not political arithmetic, it is through a people’s alternative. Only that is sustainable. People’s alternative comes through people’s struggles, not by seats in Parliament.

At least Nitish tried. For two years, he shed his ego and joined hands with Lalu Prasad. The Left will not do that with the Trinamool Congress.

What did he try? He became the Chief Minister. It is not a great sacrifice. He did that to lead the state of Bihar. That was the actual reason why he shed his inhibitions, his earlier positions and shook hands with the RJD. As for Trinamool, its politics is entirely aimed at destroying the Left through violence and terror against our cadre. And Trinamool is actually helping the BJP in terms of the competitive communalism there. The counter narrative has to be against that communal polarisation.

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Do you think the Tejashwi issue was an alibi?

Many of these are sub-judice issues, let the courts decide. But the point is going back to the BJP, which he did. But that is a temporary setback and will not stop the counter narrative from emerging.

Rahul Gandhi has said that he knew for 3-4 months that Nitish was planning this? What about you?

The first indication we got was during the Presidential election. Earlier, when he supported the demonetisation…that we thought at the time of the Chidambaram book release he sort of corrected it.

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  1. Ganesh Pai
    Jul 29, 2017 at 9:36 am
    He lives in the past....word like peoples struggle no longer resonate with today's youth. He blames TMC for violence... But CPM did the same when it was in power. He lives in a make-believe world. Even China has moved from class to mass. Communism is a failure as it rewards laziness and punishes entrepreneurship. Hence China is capitalist except for party. Indian communists think they have monopoly over public opinion. Peoples aspirations and wants have changed. Come out of ur caccoon or go into oblivion like dinosaurs of jurrasic age
    1. G
      Jul 29, 2017 at 8:23 am
      This Yechury is a power hungry criminal. He supports chinese if at all there is a war. He supports foreign communist ideas . His only job is to create instability. Once instability happens, these so called intellectual leeches have their material to milk. Such people should be taken head-on, point by point by people of his wavelength from the opposite parties. Why does-not NDA let loose some its people to complete counter this Yechuri.
      1. S
        Jul 28, 2017 at 7:36 pm
        This yechury guy and his party has lost all credibility and relevance as they support and promote corrupt and terrorist groups. Lalu is a convicted criminal and this yechury guy has no qualms supporting him. This hypocrite has not done a single day of labor or has done a single day of productive work in his life. Of course he has never been elected by people. Always nominated for rajya sabha. It is good that this chamcha of Sonia Gandhi won't be there in rajya sabha anymore.
        1. A
          Jul 28, 2017 at 8:19 am
          Wah re wah Yechury Sahib. Aap to Kamaal ke ho Yaar !!! You were with Chinese when they came down the Himalayas in 1962 to attack India and killed quite a few of our Fauji JAWANS. Are you guys proud of siding with the Chinooks? Is that not the reason CPI split with your faction favoring the os, the other staying neutral.
          1. R
            Jul 28, 2017 at 7:23 am
            Yachury is perfectly right. By nature, nitish kumar is a chameleon and fundamentally Modi co is a bunch of dacoits looting the nation. 2019 will put a full stop to these nonsense.
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