GUWAHATI: CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury has said that ‘binary’ tactics of polarizing Hindus and Muslims won’t work in the Assam election.
Yechury was confident of a Congress-led Mahajot government in the state as he addressed the media here on Sunday after concluding a tour of Sarbhog constituency, which the Left party is trying hard to get back from the BJP.
“The BJP calculation is simply wrong. In Assam, all Muslims and Hindus are not on two opposite poles. Out of the 20 lakh people, who were left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the majority were Hindus. Why has there been no solution to it in the last two years? They (BJP) survive only in creating binaries between Hindus-Muslims,” Yechury said.
The CPM has fielded candidates in two seats. In Sarbhog, represented by BJP’s state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Yechury said the Left party has a high chance of winning. He said even the Hindus are going against the BJP and its allies. “The bulk of our Mahajot supporters who came to our rally in Sarbhog yesterday were Assamese Hindus. They are not part of this polarization,” Yechury added.
He also took a jibe at Assam BJP president Dass, who preferred the Patacharkuchi seat over Sarbhog this election. The CPM general secretary alleged that this move by Dass was taken after the saffron party sniffed defeat in the lower Assam seat that was a Left bastion for long, represented by veteran communist leader Hemen Das multiple times and later by Uddhab Barman.
While the BJP has been criticizing the Left for going in an alliance with the Congress in Assam, and fighting each other in Kerala, Yechury replied that there is no contradictory stand between the Congress and the Left so far as resisting the BJP is concerned. “The Congress is against us only in Kerala. It’s only in one state where the poll battle continues between the Congress-led alliance and CPM-led front for the last 50-70 years. The BJP is not in the scene there,” the Left leader asserted.
Instead, Yechury accused the BJP of hoodwinking voters in different parts of the country with contradictory stands on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. “According to their opportunism, the BJP supports CAA somewhere (West Bengal), but says won’t implement the law in another state (Tamil Nadu). But the implementation of CAA and the Assam Accord cannot go together in Assam. They should keep this in mind,” he added.
Yechury also questioned the neutrality of the EC, after the poll panel reduced the campaign ban on BJP minister and candidate from Jalukbari, Himanta Biswa Sarma, by 24 hours.
He said that the EC should have disqualified Himanta from contesting the polls, for the threat of putting BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary in jail for his alleged links with insurgents. “A 48-hour ban from campaigning was reduced to 24 hours by EC, which should not have happened. The faith of the people in EC’s neutrality is an essential requirement for the health of democracy,” Yechury said.