Expelled Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, on Wednesday, organised a second convention of non-BJP parties, this time in Indore, to “save the country from communal forces and create a joint forum to counter BJP-RSS”. The convention named ‘Sanjhi Virasat Bachao’ (save shared heritage or save composite culture), was held to explore the possibility of a united opposition against the BJP in the 2019 general elections and saw participation from several leaders of diverse political spectrum.
With an objective to strengthen the secular roots of political parties in the Hindi-speaking states, the convention was attended by leaders from the Congress, Samajwadi party, CPI and CPI(M), National Conference, Nationalist Congress Party and several other parties. The first such convention was organised by Sharad in New Delhi on August 17 and was attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D. Raja and several others.
Sharad Yadav, who originally started his politics from Jablapur, Madhya Pradesh in 1974, got Congress leaders including former state chief minister Digvijaya Singh, Arun Yadav and Anand Sharma, Yechury, Raja, Prakash Ambedkar, Ali Anwar of JD (U), Jayant Singh of Lokdal and Tariq Anwar of NCP in the convention. However, the second convention in Indore failed to attract top opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee or Akhilesh Yadav. Meanwhile, Akhilesh's brother Dharmendra Yadav, who represented the Samajwadi Party, surprised with his presence.
Digvijaya Singh attacked RSS and its affiliate organisations for spreading venom in the society and practising the politics of religion. He said social media should be used to counter the falsehood spread by communal parties.
Yechury said the biggest danger today is of destruction of our composite culture by this regime. He quoted Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore and said time has come when we must strictly adhere to the foundations of ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’.
A native of Madhya Pradesh, Sharad, who was expelled from the JD (U), is on a nationwide mission to hold the meetings of non-BJP parties to counter the rise of RSS-BJP.