How can Left, socialists join hands with Cong: Jaitley

How can Left, socialists join hands with Cong: Jaitley

Arun Jaitley. PTI file photo

At a time the Opposition is attempting to come together under a joint umbrella to fight the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday took on the Left parties and socialists, saying he wondered how they could join hands with the Congress.

In the third and final part of his articles on Emergency, Jaitley claimed the CPM was not an "active participant" in the struggle against the measure announced by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi in June 1975.

Describing the Left parties as a "puzzle" to him, he said the CPI was an "unashamed supporter" of the Emergency as it felt it was war on fascism.

"Though theoretically the CPM was opposed to the Emergency and critical of it, it was not an active participant in the struggle against the Emergency. Only two of its MPs were arrested. Its polit bureau members, Central Committee members and students' leaders were, by and large, not put in detention," he said.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury countered him saying, "distorting history is their occupation. History has recorded CPM martyrs and heroic sacrifices in this struggle for the restoration of democracy. History also records two servile letters of the RSS chief pledging support to Indira Gandhi's 20 point programme and pleading release."

Jaitley also did not leave the socialist leaders, saying the Lohia socialist and their post-Emergency evolution has shown a "very curious trend", saying Ram Manohar Lohia was the creator of the slogan of 'Congress Hatao Desh Bachao' (Remove Congress to save the country).

His legacy was represented by George Fernandes, Madhu Limaye and Raj Narain, who were all "consistently anti-Congress" and it has now been inherited by Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh and substantially by Nitish Kumar in Bihar.

"While the trace of anti-Congressism is visible in both, the party formed by Mulayam Singh Yadav is always willing to do business with the Congress. I have always serious doubts whether those who represent the political DNA of Dr Lohia and Nehru can in the long run ever work together," he said.