THE CPM and Congress came together here on Saturday to launch an attack on the Narendra Modi government and the RSS for being “fascist forces out to destroy the secular and democratic fabric of India”. Also present was former CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee and estranged Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy.
While the occasion was Jawaharlal Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary celebrations, many of the participants hinted at a new political alternative in the gathering on Saturday.
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Senior Congress leader O P Mishra, who organised the event that drew top leaders of both the West Bengal Congress and CPM, said a political alternative to the present set-up had to be found in Bengal.
Chatterjee said, “All stakeholders in our democracy have to work unitedly with dedication, commitment, cooperation and self-discipline to find lasting solutions to safeguard our democracy.”
Describing Nehru as “one of the tallest leaders of India and the chief architect of modern India”, he added that the present polity “is fractured on religious, caste, regional and linguistic basis and influenced by confrontational politics… Confrontational politics is greatly weakening our democratic structure and simultaneously stifling the country’s progress.”
Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad, who was also present, underlined the significance of “the Bihar moment”, in a reference to the state results. All forces cutting across political lines and affiliations should take a lesson from it, she said.
Accusing present rulers of “psychologically hounding people out”, Setalvad said, “There has to be a social army to fight the RSS.”