Left parties to stay away from opposition meeting, media conference


Kolkata, Dec 26: The Left parties will stay away from the meeting and media conference of the opposition in New Delhi on December 27, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said here on Monday, citing absence of coordination.

“The Left parties have said ‘we will not be there’ as all 16 opposition parties who have been together in the protest against demonetisation are not attending the press conference and meeting tomorrow (Tuesday),” Yechury told media persons.

Noting he had held discussions with parties like the Nationalist Congress Party, Janata Dal-United and Rashtriya Janata Dal, he said: “All of them have told me they were neither consulted on the date for the meeting and media conference nor on the issues to be discussed.”

“The proposal and the issues should have been first discussed with all opposition parties which should have been then taken to the action stage. It cannot be that somebody announces the date and time and everybody comes there,” he said, describing the development as “unfortunate”.

The Left parties’ decision came on a day West Bengal Chief Minister and their bete noire Mamata Banerjee reached Delhi to take part in the meeting slated to be addressed by senior Congress leaders.

Yechury said the opposition parties were working unitedly in parliament and consultation is a must before the coordination can be extended outside.

He however dodged a query as to whether the Communist Party of India-Marxist and other Left parties were skipping the meet to avoid being seem in the same meeting with Banerjee.

He said the Left, the Trinamool Congress and foes like Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party opposed the government together on the floor of parliament.

However, he questioned why the chief ministers of other opposition ruled states should not attend the meeting when Banerjee is going to be present.

“When the Bengal Chief Minister is attending, why shouldn’t chief ministers of Bihar, Tripura and Kerala and chief ministers of other opposition ruled states be present?” he wondered.

Noting Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for a 50 day timeframe on demonetisation, Yechury said: “We will wait till the time period expires. Then we will call for nationwide protests.”