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No grand alliance could have countered powerful BJP narrative, says Yechury

twitter-logoPTI | May 27, 2019 | Updated 18:52 IST

New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) The narrative woven by the BJP around Prime Minister Narendra Modi was so powerful that no alliance, however grand, could have demolished it, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said Monday, in a frank acknowledgement of the Opposition's helplessness in the Lok Sabha polls. The Left leader's remarks came after his party registered its worst performance ever and managed to bag only three seats -- two in Tamil Nadu and one in Kerala -- in the recently concluded general elections. "The BJP changed the narrative from jobs and livelihood to Pulwama and Balakot around Modi. The narrative built around communal nationalist jingoism, along with the issues of fighting terrorism, brushed aside all other issues of day-to-day concern of the people," Yechury said at a press conference here. "Because this narrative could not be countered, there are 200 seats in which the NDA got around 50 per cent votes," he said. The CPI(M) leader asserted that "nothing could have been done" even if all the opposition parties had come together. "They (NDA) got these votes because they were successful in their narrative and the Opposition failed to counter it," he said. Yechury said the BJP had built the Modi persona through a combination of factors, including effective use of technology and instruments of messaging to the people backed by "big data analytics and micro-level social engineering". "The role of the Election Commission was also a factor that permitted the build-up of such a narrative. This process was assisted by the vast network of RSS-affiliated organisations," he said. Acknowledging that the CPI(M)'s stronghold had "eroded", Yechury said the Politburo had already discussed the reasons that led to it. The Central Committee of the party is scheduled to meet from June 7 to 9 to discuss and adopt a report, based on reports from the states, to draw proper lessons on the basis of a serious introspection based on the experiences of these elections, he said. "The state committees in our stronger states will meet and self-critically evaluate the party's performance before the Central Committee meeting and, on the basis of this, the Central Committee shall draw up the necessary corrective measures in order to strengthen the CPI(M)'s independent strength and its capacities of political intervention through popular struggles," he added. The state committee in West Bengal is to meet on June 4, while that in Kerala will meet on May 31. Commenting on incidents of attacks on minorities in Gurgaon and Madhya Pradesh, Yechury said the violence is "ominous". "This is contrary to PM-elect Narendra Modi's declaration that the new government will be inclusive and will create confidence among all sections of the people," he said. In states like West Bengal and Tripura, the elections were held in the backdrop of violence, he said. "There were large-scale reports of CPI(M) supporters physically being prevented from voting. Most of our representations to implement the Election Commission's assurances to conduct a 'free and fair' poll went unattended," Yechury said. "During the course of the elections, two Left supporters have lost their lives in West Bengal and one in Tripura. In both the states, post-poll violence continues. This is taking a dangerous turn towards communal clashes," he said. PTI ASG ASG DIV DIV

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