Patna: Call for the opposition unity against Bharatiya Janata Party given at the Party Congress of CPIML seems to have hit the right chord, as several leaders across the parties and country attended the convention in Patna and pledged to form an anti-fascist alliance.
CPIML is also an ally of the ruling Mahagathbandhan in Bihar.
Themed as ‘Save Constitution, Save Democracy, Save India’ convention had the participants not only the gathbandhan leaders including Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid but also Left leaders like Md Salim and critical thinkers like Arundhati Roy in attendance. The meet stressed on the need of a strong opposition unity against the BJP, which they termed as Anti-Fascist resistance alliance.
Speaking on the third day of the convention, chief minister Nitish Kumar said, “The decision we have taken towards the Mahagathbandhan has gone well with the people, so we will continue to work like this together. But we have a responsibility beyond Bihar, and in light of the 2024 election, we must fight together and get rid of the current regime.” He reiterated that he has no wish for any post now but he wants to dislodge BJP from the center.
Deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav mentioned, “We do not have Ambani-Adani to bankroll us. We also don’t misuse the government institutions to crack down on opposition, yet despite the attacks on us, we came together in Bihar to teach BJP a lesson and establish a unity based on the country’s interest”. He added, “We have said it time and again that in places where regional parties are strong, they should be given the driving seat and where there is a bipolar contest between the Congress and BJP, we will support Congress.”
Salman Khurshid, former cabinet minister pointed out, “What we face today are fascist powers. But they are cowards. Our unity will scare them to retreat.” He said that oppositional unity will show the way forward to counter hatred mongered by the BJP. He assured that he will take forward the message of unity in the Congress party, which is also ready to build oppositional unity.
Earlier, CPIML General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya had said, “The agenda of this convention is very clear – if the Constitution and democracy are in danger, there is a need for a decisive struggle to save them from the fascist forces and we need a grand unity for that.” He added that time and again, Bihar has shown how opposition is built both on the streets and electorally. The General Secretary added that the convention being called as part of the 11th Party Congress is a clarion call for resistance and opposition to the emergency-like situation in the country.
It was also attended by Member of Parliament from Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Tamil Nadu, Thol. Thirumavalavan, who said “We must oppose bigotry uncompromisingly. Fascism is hitting Indian democracy like a tsunami. It wants to make sure that a majority government will function as a majoritarian government.”
A day ahead of the convention, eminent writer Arundhati Roy called upon social groups and political parties to unite to fight against fascist forces in the country. Roy said on the second day of the convention, “The Social groups and the parties engaged in anti-caste and anti-capitalist struggles in the country have to come together.” Roy had earlier also attended CPIML’s Party Congress but this time, her presence and appeal for the opposition parties as well as civil society to unite has more significance ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The same day, CPIML delegates adopted two resolutions. The first one, to recognize fascism as the main threat to people and democracy and the second to identify the nature of Indian fascism at the present juncture—as the manifestation of the corporate-communal nexus.
Several dignitaries of fraternal organizations from Australia, Venezuela, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Nepal and Palestine were present in the convention. Communist groups from Cuba, Laos, Philippines, Cyprus, Germany, Argentina, Iran, Namibia and Afghanistan sent their solidarity messages to the Congress.
Before the convention, CPIML had a major rally at Gandhi Maidan, Patna on February 15, which political observers believed that it reflected the increasing mass presence of the party.