CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury today ruled out an electoral alliance with “corruption-tainted” Lalu Prasad’s RJD in the 2019 general elections. Yechury made it clear that his party would not have truck with any “communal and corruption-tainted” party in the next Lok Sabha polls. “My party would not make alliance with communal and corruption-tainted party,” Yechury told reporters when asked whether the CPI-M will align with Lalu Prasad, now jailed in Ranchi after being convicted in a fodder scam case, for the general elections. The CPI-M leader said since the country needs a “BJP-free government”, his party would back ruling dispensations from outside like it did in 1989, 1996 and 2004 at the national level. “CPI-M had supported the then governments from outside and would do so again”, he said.
The Left party had lent support to the United Front government of VP Singh, HD Deve Gowda dispensation and the UPA I government of Manmohan Singh in 1989, 1996 and 2004. The CPI-M general secretary lamented that some media houses were projecting the 2019 polls as a Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi fight while overlooking other forces. “It is wrong to overlook other forces…An alternative force to Narendra Modi would be created on a common minimum programme (CMP) at the national level to challenge communal and wrong economic policy of the BJP government,” he said.
Responding to a question about the possibility of a merger of the CPI-M and CPI, he said the main hurdle in the way was that the latter wanted the process to start at the top, while his party insisted on the unification to begin from the grassroots level. Yechury said mere announcement of merger would not ensure longevity of the unified entity. He said the CPI-M wanted the workers of the two parties to jointly launch agitations before a merger takes place.