The occasion was the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh. But for a host of opposition parties — from the Socialists to the Communists and the Congress — whose representatives appeared on one stage on Saturday, the message was clear: It is time they all came together to forge a common front against the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Among those on stage was Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, which decided against forming an alliance with Ajit Singh’s RLD for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Yadav told the predominantly Jat crowd that they are responsible for the defeat of Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary in Baghpat and Mathura. His message was clear. How can Charan Singh’s family be defeated in western Uttar Pradesh. “Will you do it again,” he asked the crowd, which responded with an emphatic “no”.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury recalled that there have always been two streams of Left in Indian politics — the Socialists and the Communists. While the Socialist Left disintegrated into various groups and the Communists too split into three groups, he said the unity of the Socialist Left and the Communist Left to present a policy alternative is needed.
Also in attendance were leaders of four streams of Socialist parties: Sharad Yadav, SP’s Ram Gopal, JD(S)’s Danish Ali and Ajit Singh. Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma represented the Congress.