NCP president Sharad Pawar and state Congress chief Ashok Chavan on Monday reached out to the Left and other parties to form a united front against the BJP in the elections next year.
Speaking at a farmers’ convention organised by the All India Kisan Sabha, affiliated to the CPI(M), Pawar, who shared the dais with top state Left and Congress leaders, said the meeting should be immediately followed up with another one where parties could plan their course of action for the coming years.
“This should not end here with resolutions on the farmers’ distress. We should sit together again, in the next five to eight days for discussions, to formulate a plan on what needs to be done in the next two to four years,” he added
Pawar said that while the drought situation is worsening in the state, the big political discussions are about building a temple in Ayodhya.
“The BJP government is a national calamity,” he said, referring to alleged attacks on institutions, including the judiciary and the Reserve Bank of India. He repeatedly used the phrase “misuse of power”.
Speaking earlier, Chavan had said the Congress and the NCP can hold discussions with the CPI(M) because “people want us to come together”. Seeking further discussions with the Left parties, he said a common minimum programme in Maharashtra could be formulated under the leadership of Pawar. “Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have also directed that this discussion, for a united opposition against the BJP-Sena government in Maharashtra, should begin,” he said.
Chavan, along with other speakers at the event, noted that the CPI(M)’s ‘Kisan Long March’ in March, the Congress’ ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’ and the NCP’s ‘Halla Bol’ campaign, all public outreach events against the government, have received tremendous support in rural Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, the Kisan Sabha passed a resolution to hold a rally in New Delhi on November 29 and 30, pressing for the demand for a special session of Parliament to discuss the agrarian crisis unfolding across the country.
Inspired by the success of the “long march” of 40,000 people — mostly adivasi tillers who walked 180 km from Nashik to Mumbai in March — the rally to Delhi will also seek the passage of two private member bills introduced in Parliament — one on farm loan waiver and the other on minimum support price for farm produce and assured procurement.
CPI(M) Politburo member Hannan Mollah, an eight-term Lok Sabha MP, said the peasants’ movements across India was taking a new turn. “Our new slogan should be ‘Narendra Modi, Kisan Virodhi’,” he said.
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