Hyderabad: The Communist Party of India (CPI) will contest 55 Lok Sabha seats in 24 States across the country, party general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy announced here on Thursday. Speaking to media persons at CPI State office, Sudhakar Reddy said they had already selected 19 candidates to contest the Parliamentary elections and the remaining candidates will be selected soon. The candidates’ list will be released soon after the party meeting.
“We have decided to contest 55 Parliamentary constituencies to give a tough fight to the BJP which has become the root cause for the increasing corruption, unemployment and exploitation of dalits,” he said, adding that the need of the hour was a secular government in the country. “Some of the secular parties in Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Odisha have joined hands with us and we are facing the election alone in West Bengal and Kerala,” he said.
Stating that the party has urged the Election Commission (EC) to take a call on Assembly polls along with the Parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir to restore peace in the State, he said the EC was also asked to count votes on VVPATs at least in constituencies where Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are challenged.
The EC has directed political parties to desist from using army photographs and martyrs posters in election campaign and this should be implemented strictly, he said. BJP leaders are trying to use martyrs’ sacrifice for electoral benefits which is very unfortunate, the CPI leader said, pointing out that army was above politics. “We respect the army and the sacrifices of martyrs, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeps changing his statement on how many terrorists were killed in the air strikes. He is also hitting out at the Oppositions parties saying they are seeking proof for it,” he said. Even Shiv Sena demanded that the BJP maintain the transparency, he said, adding that the ruling party was using the army for political mileage, he alleged.