Palghar: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has alleged the country is facing an "unprecedented economic crisis" because of demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and crony capitalism of the BJP-led NDA government. Addressing an election rally in Dahanu segment of Maharashtra's Palghar district in support of CPI(M) candidate Vinod Nikole on Sunday, he said the BJP and Shiv Sena need to be defeated to save the country and its citizens. "There is an unprecedented economic crisis in the country today, because of demonetisation, GST, NPAs (non-performing assets) and crony capitalism of the BJP government," Yechury said. He alleged that there was a move to shut the state-owned BSNL and MTNL to help industrialist Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio. "Instead of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's slogan of Jai Hind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new slogan has become 'Jio Hind'," Yechury said. He also alleged that there were plans to close public sector oil company BPCL to help some industrialists. The Left leader claimed that unemployment has reached its worst level in the last 50 years. "The worst aspect of the present regime is that it is dividing people on the basis of religion. Communal tensions, mob lynchings are going on unabated. The Kashmir issue and the NRC in Assam are its striking examples," Yechury said. "If we have to save the country and ourselves, we will have to defeat the BJP-Shiv Sena and elect Left, democratic and secular candidates," he said. He also said that the Forest Rights Act, which seeks to restore rights of tribes living in forests for generations, was enacted in 2006 when the Left parties pressed for it, but the BJP-led central government was not implementing it. On the contrary, the Centre has proposed "draconian" amendments in the Indian Forest Act of the British era, he said. Meanwhile, nearly 50 Shiv Sena activists from Dahanu tehsil quit the Uddhav Thackeray-led party on Sunday, citing "disillusionment", and joined the CPI(M). On Wednesday, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat is scheduled to address two rallies in Talasari and Dahanu tehsils of Palghar. Polling for all 288 Assembly seats in the state will be held on October 21 and counting of votes will take place on October 24.
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