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    Sitaram Yechury dismisses possibility of Left-TMC alliance in Bengal before Opposition’s unity meet

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    CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury has ruled out forming an alliance with the TMC in West Bengal. He stated that secular parties, along with the Left and the Congress, will join forces to take on both the BJP and the TMC in the state. Yechury referred to the 2004 model, where the Left-Congress coalition came to power at the Centre, as an example of unity among opposition parties.

    Yechury emphasized that each state has different circumstances, and the goal is to minimize the division of votes that benefits the BJP. He clarified that there will be a collaboration between secular parties, the Left, and the Congress in West Bengal to fight against the BJP and TMC. However, the specific form of this alliance at the national level is yet to be determined.

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    Yechury also highlighted the similarity between their current strategy and the one that led them to form the government in 2004. The two-day meeting in Bengaluru, attended by leaders of 26 opposition parties, aims to work on a common minimum programme and announce a joint plan to counter the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

    In West Bengal, there have been disagreements within the opposition ranks, particularly between the Left parties and Mamata Banerjee’s TMC. Despite their differences, they have shared platforms at various opposition-related events. The BJP has often exploited these divisions to portray the opposition as a “divided lot” without a clear agenda other than defeating Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Yechury rebutted the BJP’s claims by stating that major parties like Shiv Sena (UBT) and Akali Dal are no longer aligned with them.

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    When asked about the opposition’s face to challenge Prime Minister Modi, Yechury pointed out that in 2004, the Left-Congress coalition emerged victorious despite the popularity of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He suggested that the same approach would be followed, and the opposition would find a suitable leader just as they did with Manmohan Singh in 2004.

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