Left's primary task is to defeat BJP: Yechury

Left's primary task is to defeat BJP: Yechury
The Assembly polls in five states, including the electorally important Uttar Pradesh, will have a bearing on the national politics in the coming days. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury spoke to Shemin Joy on the elections and their impact.

How important are these Assembly polls for the Opposition parties at the Centre?

Normally, Uttar Pradesh polls are important owing to the fact that it is the biggest state. It sends the biggest numbers to Parliament. Election in UP has a political importance. The results influence the country's politics as a whole. This time, it is important in the context of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Without the MPs from UP, the BJP could not have formed the government. So, UP is very important for the BJP. It is another story whether the BJP will capitalise on this. Its results will have a bearing on national politics. The Left's primary task is to defeat the BJP.

What issues do you think are the most important ones in these polls?

The immediate campaign issue will be the agony caused by demonetisation. Indian economy is shattered by this move. Informal sector is the worst-hit. Take the case of the agriculture sector. There is no farm activity, no cash availability. At places where the harvest has taken place, farmers are not getting the minimum support price. Farm distress is a big factor. Another issue is communal polarisation. We have seen the riots in Muzaffarnagar and cow vigilantism. These are sensitive and important issues, which will have an echo.

The Bihar experience of Grand Alliance has not happened in UP. Will it affect the chances of those opposing the BJP?

One should understand that politics is not arithmetic. One has to understand there is a degree of anti-incumbency against the SP. But it is not likely that the BJP is going to reap the benefit.

How do you see the Punjab scenario?

There is very serious anti-incumbency against the Akali Dal-BJP government. Who will reap the benefits, the Congress or the AAP, of this anti-imcumbency is to be seen. Overall, Akali Dal-BJP is not doing well in Punjab.

Do you think the results will have something to cheer for the Opposition?

There will be winds of change.

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