Hyderabad: Private armies" under the patronage of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are seeking to control the social order by telling people what to eat and what to wear, Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged on Wednesday.

Addressing CPM’s 22nd All-India Congress in Hyderabad, Yechury attacked the RSS and BJP, stating that they had united all anti-Left organizations on a single platform to target the CPM. He added that a “campaign of terror" had been unleashed against Left activists. He said that at the gathering from 18-22 April the party’s highest decision-making body would discuss and finalize its stand on the issue of aligning with the Congress and regional parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

“The current BJP central government is pursuing policies that have imposed unprecedented miseries on the people and at the same time grievously threatening the unity and integrity of our social fabric," Yechury said, adding that the BJP had failed to fulfil its promises made to the people. Even the organized sector is witnessing growing unemployment, Yechury said.

With regard to the recently concluded Tripura assembly elections, which the CPM lost, Yechury alleged that left offices were targeted and party activists attacked with the intent of paralysing the party in the state. “This shall not be allowed. The RSS-BJP is mounting a nationwide misinformation campaign against the CPM as the perpetrator of violence. The truth in the other way round," he told the gathering.

“The 22nd Congress of the CPM will provide the direction for mobilizing secular democratic forces to defeat this BJP government," said Yechury. The five-day meeting will also see the election to the post of general secretary, with Yechury, elected in the last party congress in 2015, seeking a second term.

In the run-up to the meeting, the CPM leadership has been divided on various issues, including on the matter of alliance with the Congress party, a move that Yechury supports as a strategy to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, in its draft political resolution released in February, the CPM had ruled out such an alliance.

On Wednesday, the first day of the meeting, the party also paid homage to veteran communist and former CPM polit bureau member Mohd. Amin, Khagen Das, former member of CPM’s central committee, and others.

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