One million people gathered in Kolkata’s largest public park Sunday pledging to oust Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing BJP party from West Bengal in the upcoming elections.
The city’s Brigade Parade Ground was turned into a sea of red as people from across the state poured into the enormous square brandishing scarlet banners to attend a demonstration organized by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front.
“The anti-people policies need to be changed and alternative policies need to be pushed if our country is to be saved from further disaster,” CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury told the crowd.
“We do not want to defeat Modi just because we don’t like him. We want to remove him because we don’t like his policies. We have to fight for an alternative secular and democratic government,” he said.
The Left Front, an alliance of socialist parties in West Bengal, also took aim at the All-India Trinamool Congress (TMC) party, whose founder, Mamata Banerjee, is the current chief minister of the state.
Yechury said the TMC’s opposition to the BJP was a sham and that the two parties were “two sides of the same coin.”
“It is important to defeat the TMC in the state in order to defeat the BJP at the center,” he said.
“Any attempt to stall the march of this ‘red sea’ will create a tsunami in the political scene and will sweep away anti-democratic and communal forces like Modi and his communal brigade and their covert ally, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and her party in Bengal.”