'Dear Comrade': CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury kicks off campaign in Kerala

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury during his campaign in Kerala. Photo: Manorama

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury starts off his campaign speech by saying in clear Malayalam " Priyapetta sakhakale, in Nileshwaram, which reminds of the historic peasant struggles of Kayyur in north Kerala.

Which place would have been more apt for the CPM general secretary to start his campaign for the LDF in the state. The speech begins with his opening remarks; "Telugu is my mother tongue. I am not much familiar with Malayalam." And then he moves on to deliver his entire speech in English.

The translator ensures that the spirit and punch of his sentences are retained in Malayalam translation as well. Nileswaram and the surrounding areas are not new to Yechury. He has visited the place several times in the past.

After exchanging pleasantries with the CPM leaders seated on the dais calling each one of them by their names, Yechury recollects his experiences with former MP P Karunakaran as a parliamentarian and his association with K P Satheesh Chandran since student politics days. The speech mainly targets the BJP government at the Centre. Even while pointing out the attempts being made by the BJP to destroy democracy, there is not much criticism against the UDF in Kerala. At the same time, he recollects how the BJP was continuing the same policies that were implemented by the Congress-led government at the Centre previously.

He launched a scathing attack on the BJP policy of forming governments in the states where it had lost elections. His remark that the Left's fight is to sustain the country's diversity and plurality is received by the people of Kasargod by a huge round of applause.

Yechury sought votes for M Rajagopal, the LDF candidate from Trikaripur. He winds up the speech in a hurry saying that he would be back to join the celebrations to mark the repeat of the LDF government after polls.

As he prepared to leave for Kannur, a group of red volunteers, Kudumbasree workers and kids surrounded him for selfies. He posed for them with a smiling face. Now it was the turn of media persons to hurl some quick questions at him.

On Sabarimala, he reiterated the chief minister's stand that a decision would be taken on the issue only after the Supreme Court verdict. Within minutes he explained his stand and avoided further questions while getting into the car.

Yechury's next stop was CPM bastion Kalliyaseri and Congress stronghold Irikkur. The venue of the election meeting at Kalliasseri was Pazhayangadi.

The CPM general secretary is brought to the venue of the meeting in an open jeep accompanied by P K Sreemathy and Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan. Vijin who is the youngest candidate of CPM in the district is contesting from Kalliyasseri.

His speech was in line with the audience. Yechury spoke about the agitation led by the CPM against the CAA. He referred to the BJP attempts to topple the Kerala government by misusing the central agencies.

The CPM leader spoke about the vested political interests of the Congress which was opposing the central agencies in other states while supporting them in Kerala.

From Kalliyasseri he leaves for Sreekandapuram in Irikkur constituency. It is an agricultural zone. Here he unleashes criticism against the central government for imposing the anti-farm laws. Yechury said the Left was at the forefront of the agitation demanding the repeal of the farm laws.\

He said the Congress had done nothing on this front.

After speaking with clarity on political issues in the two districts, the CPM supremo headed for the Kozhikode district for the next leg of the campaign.

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