Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav on Monday said the United India rally in Kolkata held on Saturday gave him no hope, and that the country needs an alternative, not just opposition, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The rally, organised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had been attended by several Opposition leaders, who are expected to put up a front against Modi’s ruling party in the Lok Sabha elections this year.
Yadav made the remark in a tweet accompanying a news report about his statements at a press meeting in Kolkata on Sunday. According to the Prabhat Khabar news report, Yadav had said that expressing opposition to the Bharatiya Janata Party should not just mean opposing Modi.
Yadav said the Opposition parties did not have any agenda or vision during the rally. “Narendra Modi only wanted to make the contest between himself and the Opposition, he has been successful in doing so,” the news report quoted Yadav as saying.
Yadav also said all parties were just fighting for the throne in the upcoming elections. He said the parties had criticised the use of electronic voting machines, but now there was voter-verifiable paper audit trail as well to ensure credibility.
“EVMs have come as an alternative to ballot paper itself,” he said of the demand to bring back the ballot. Parties do not oppose EVMs when the result is in their favour, but when they lose, they blame the machines, he said.
However, Yadav denied having called the grand alliance a “big joke”, as reported by PTI.
Yadav launched the Swaraj India’s initiative Indian Citizens’ Action for Nation on Sunday to encourage citizens to intervene in electoral politics.
He said he was happy that farmers and the youth had become an election issue for the ruling and Opposition parties for the first time in independent India’s history.