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Channelise discontent to challenge BJP in 2019 polls: Yechury

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New Delhi, Feb 26: The people's discontent against the NDA government's policies would have to be channelised to evolve a national coalition to take on the BJP in the 2019 general elections, CPI(M) chief Sitaram Yechury has said.

"We will decide on the basis of policies and programmes...because mere coming together does not mean (Opposition) unity, it's not about arithmetic only. And I think there should be an alternate government, a secular government (in 2019).

"We are not saying that we will join hands with anybody.

All that I want to raise is that we will work for forming an alternate government against the government of the communal forces," Yechury said.

The CPI(M) general secretary was replying to a spate of questions on how he saw the emerging national political scenario leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, during an interaction with PTI journalists here.

Yechury, who recently had a meeting with Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) President Nitish Kumar, said though there was a talk on the recent 'Maha Gathbandhan' (Grand Alliance) experiment in Bihar which kept the BJP out of power, "don't look for a pre-designed answers".

"So, we have told him (Nitish) that the answer is also, in the past we have seen, the 1996 situation. That is also an answer. Our history will tell you," he said while stressing that the Left parties, on their own, would have to play a decisive role in this.

After the 1996 elections, Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, DMK, TDP, AGP, All India Indira Congress (Tiwari), four Left parties, Tamil Maanila Congress, National Conference and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party had established the 13-party United Front, which had formed the government.

"There is already a lot of disgruntlement with the Modi government's policies, including demonetisation. We have to see how this disenchantment is channelised to ensure that an alternative secular combination emerges," the CPI(M) leader said.

He pointed out that the BJP was in power now with "only 31 per cent votes. Adding the votes polled by its allies, the tally only goes up to little over 37 per cent. That means, 62 -63 per cent of the people have voted against them."

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