Varanasi : Terming Narendra Modi as ‘common candidate’ for all corporates and communal forces, CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat on Thursday said that, all non-Congress parties should have fielded a consensus candidate against the BJP PM nominee.

“Some time ago, many people told me that there should be a common candidate against Modi, to which I said we are ready to withdraw our candidate if all non-Congress parties can come together to field one single candidate to take on the BJP leader”, Karat said.

“However, the parties could not reach any such consensus”, he said, while adding that only a Left candidate can now fight capitalism and communal forces. CPI (M) has fielded Heera Lal Yadav from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat against Modi, AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Congress’ Ajay Rai, among others.  Accusing Modi of being a candidate for capitalism and communal forces, Karat claimed that it was the first time in India when all corporates were supporting one single person. He said so far it was the Congress government that was working for the interest of corporates, but the latter have now switched sides to Modi after an economic downturn.

Recalling the Lok Sabha polls of 1991, Karat said the Left had fielded Raj Kishore then and just before polling riots had taken place. That year, BJP for the first time won from Varanasi and has retained this seat in five elections since then, he said.

He alleged that BJP has been very active with its communal agenda in Varanasi since then and it has now fielded the Gujarat CM from here as part of its then slogan of ‘moving to Kashi and Mathura after Ayodhya’.

He added that Modi was being fielded from here as part of a “well-thought-out plan of BJP and RSS” to further their communal agenda and polarise the voters on religious lines. “A clear message is being sent by fielding Modi from Varanasi and by projecting him as PM candidate”, Karat said. He said it is a question about India’s future and accused RSS and BJP of working for their communal agenda through Modi.

Hitting out at so-called Gujarat growth model, civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad said development of farmers and workers is different from development of stock market. Talking about the Gujarat riots of 2002, she asked people of Varanasi to reject Modi, who has become a ‘symbol of fear’.                           —PTI

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