The latest trip of CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury in Srinagar can be seen an example of deft political maneuvering which other larger opposition parties could not think of.
The Left parties might have been reduced to a marginal force in the Indian political landscape, but they still have the ability to come up with cool ideas.
The latest trip of CPIM general secretary Sitaram Yechury in Srinagar can be seen an example of such deft political maneuvering which other larger opposition parties could not think of.
Yechury, concerned over detention of his party colleague and former Jammu and Kashmir MLA Yusuf Tarigami, filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court on August 24. A four-time MLA from Kulgam, Tarigami was detained and put under indefinite house arrest from August 5, along with all other political leaders of J&K as the Narendra Modi government swiftly moved to scrap Article 370 and bifurcated J&K into two union territories.
The opposition parties erupted in protests against both the government’s decisions on J&K and the clampdown on political leaders.
Top opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Yechury and many others, tried to reach Kashmir defying the ban and were forced to return from the Srinagar airport under tight security and their political objective to meet and interact with locals in Kashmir valley remained unsuccessful.
In fact, during one such attempt to enter Srinagar, Yechury hurt himself so badly that for the next few days, he was limping in the AKG Bhawan, his party’s headquarters, and his movements were severely restricted.
But while some other leaders were focused on making a big show of their attempts to reach Kashmir and return in the next available flight, the clever communist also moved the Supreme Court. And he succeeded, albeit it was restricted to only meeting his party colleague Tarigami. Thereby, he became the first political leader outside of J&K to go to the state after the abrogation of Article 370.
Now the pertinent question is why other leaders didn’t follow the same path to reach out to their colleagues. Senior Congress leaders could have also filed habeas corpus petitions to the apex court to go to Srinagar. They would not have interacted with the larger audience but spending some time with the local leaders, who has held the party’s flag high would also have given a strong political signal.