Addressing the media in Thiruvananthapuram, Sitaram Yechury said that both Congress and BJP are in a “Hindutva competition.”

CPI M General Secretary Sitram Yechury wearing a white shirt facing a mike in Kerala during the 2021 Assembly Polls
news 2021 Assembly Kerala Election Sunday, March 28, 2021 - 19:35

“If Defence Minister Rajnath Singh thinks it is unconstitutional for a state government to order a judicial probe against central agencies, then he should re-read the Constitution,” said Sitaram Yechcury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). This comes after Rajnath Singh said that the Kerala government's order, to conduct a judicial inquiry against the central agencies for probing the gold smuggling and dollar smuggling cases in the state, was against the constitution. “This (the judicial probe) means that the state government is challenging the federal structure of the Constitution and that it's 100% against the constitution," Rajnath Singh said on Sunday in Thiruvananthapuram. 

Speaking to the media in Kerala on Sunday, Yechury said, “No central agency can interfere or work in any state without the concurrence of the state concerned. And if the state concerned is not willing to give consent, they can go for a judicial approach.” Sitaram Yechury has been taking part in CPI(M)’s Assembly poll campaign in Kerala for the past several days. The Kerala Assembly elections are scheduled for April 6.

The CPI(M) leader also responded to the Election Commission's decision to keep the elections to fill three Rajya Sabha seats from Kerala in abeyance. If the elections had been conducted now, the Left Democratic Front would have won two seats, he said. “This is absolutely unconstitutional. The people of Kerala have the right to have their representatives. The Election Commission used to take such decisions based on consensus, but not anymore," said Sitaram Yechury.

Yechury accused both Congress (which is in the Opposition in the state) and the BJP of diverting people's attention with the controversies. "The United Democratic Front (UDF) is playing in tandem with the BJP in these issues. If not, why did the BJP say that they need only 34 seats to rule the state?” BJP state president K Surendran had said that the party needed only 35-40 votes to rule the state. However, when asked how BJP planned to form the majority (72 seats) in a 140-member Legislative Assembly, Surendran said, “For that, there are parties like the CPI (M) and the Congress.”

On BJP not having a candidate in the Guruvayur constituency in Thrissur, Sitaram Yechury asked, "What is the BJP planning to do in seats where they don't have a candidate?" The  nomination of three NDA candidates — in Guruvayur, Thalassery and Devikulam — had got rejected earlier for not filling up the required details.

Sitaram Yechruy also reacted to the lone BJP MLA in Kerala, O Rajagopal’s statement that there was an adjustment in voting in the Nemom constituency in the last Assembly election. In a recent interview, O Rajagopal had remarked that the party received Congress votes in the 2016 elections. “It could be part of their hidden agenda. But the Left votes are larger and hence even the combined votes (of both Congress and BJP) can not defeat the Left,” said Yechury, exuding confidence that the Left will retain power and that history is in the making in Kerala.

"The Hindutva competition between the Congress and the BJP is feeding communal polarisation in the state. But we (the Left) define secularism as the individual right to practice their faith. Separating politics from faith is what the Left does," said Yechury.

On the young women's entry into the Sabarimala temple in the state, Yechury said that the matter is sub judice before a nine-member review committee at the Supreme Court. When asked about the Left government's affidavit on it, he said that it had been filed even before the first verdict of the Supreme Court (in 2018 September) was pronounced. "The vegetable is cooked with the salt, now you want to take the salt out of the vegetable?" he asked. 

Minister for Devswom Kadakampally Surendran recently expressed regret over the incidents that took place after the 2018 verdict. "The Chief Minister has said that he will inquire and find out from the Minister why he said so and what exactly he said. So let that come," he said. 

Regarding the Uniform Civil Code, which has been mentioned in BJP’s manifesto, Yechury asked, "Would the BJP would accept reforms in a Hindu civil code." 

 

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