Thrissur (Kerala): CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury today took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence on the Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank scam, saying he has become “maunnendra Modi” (silent Modi). Pointing that Modi had described then prime minister Manmohan Singh as “maun (silent) Mohan Singh” in 2012 for his silence on various issues during the UPA regime, Yechury said now he (Narendra Modi) himself “has become maunendra Modi”.
“The Prime Minister is not speaking anything on the scam. But had addressed children on examinations,” he said in his address to the 22nd CPI(M) Kerala state conference here. He also said diamond jeweller Nirav Modi, who allegedly committed the fraud on the bank, had taken part in the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet at Davos which was also attended by the Prime Minister.
Attacking the BJP-led NDA government, the Left leader alleged it had written off Rs 2.40 lakh crore loans taken by big corporates from banks while it did not waive farmers’ dues. He wanted the Prime Minister to make public the list of persons whose non-performing-assets (NPAs) totalling Rs 2.40 lakh crore had been written off.
He claimed that the living condition of the common people had worsened during the tenure of the NDA government and farmers were in distress. Yechury further alleged that the government had not fulfilled its promises to farmers and youth while 87,000 jobs had been lost.
Assailing the economic policies of the central government, he said public sector companies were being privatised and there was no sector that had not been opened up for foreign direct investment (FDI). He claimed the shift to digital transactions had hit the country’s informal economy that contributes more than half of the GDP, he said.
Hitting out at the RSS, Yechury alleged that it had taken complete control of democratic institutions. Stressing the need for unity of the Left and democratic forces, he said what mattered was not the choice of leaders — Narendra Modi or Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
“But what is required is choice of policies — pro-people policies or looting-people polices. It is not netha (leader), but neethi (policy), which is needed,” he said. “The lessons we need to learn is that there is no partial opposing to neo-liberalism.If you are opposing neo-liberalism, championing peoples interest is the only way in which the Left will consolidate and bring about a radical social change,” he said.
Partial opposition to neo-liberalism was like a woman going to gynaecologist saying she was ‘slightly pregnant’ . “You cannot be slightly neo liberal… You have to be very clear that to protect the people, our economy and our economic sovereignty, this opposition to neo liberal reforms has to be done resolutely,” the Marxist leader said.
Left forces were required to consolidate in the interest of the people to fight against the policies of the central government, he added. The four-day state meet, which began today, is being held in the backdrop of the state government facing heat over political killings and the embarrassment over the charges of financial fraud by the party state Secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son.
Over 500 delegates, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Prakash Karat and V S Achutanandan, state ministers, MLAs and MPs, is likley to discuss the achievements and shortcomings of the 21-month old LDF government and ways to strengthen CPI(M) from the grassroot level.