Kolkata: CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Thursday said the Left parties are hit by "stagnation" and urged them to make JNU student leader Aishe Ghosh as the "face of the fight in Bengal".
The Left parties need to practise what they preach in university agitations and bring in fresh faces in the leadership, he said.
"Stagnation is evident when people of a particular age are seen, and those of another generation are not. A girl from Bengal has done very good work in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); make her the face of the fight in Bengal," Kumar said at a seminar here to commemorate CPI leader Indrajit Gupta's birth centenary.
Violence had broken out at the JNU on the night of January 5 as a group of masked people armed with sticks attacked students and teachers, besides damaging property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in the police.
Ghosh, the JNU Students Union president, had suffered head injuries in the attack. He said the trend of young leadership in universities should be taken beyond the boundaries of educational institutions to factories and agricultural fields.
"It is then... we can save the Constitution," he added.
Kumar claimed that the BJP is trying to revive the pain of partition among the country's populace again through CAA, NRC and NPR and divide people on religious lines. He said it is very painful to be homeless, whether it be during the partition of 1947, or in the 1990s when Kashmiri pandits had to leave the valley.
"The NRC process in Assam has put the BJP in a bind since about 16 lakh, of the total 19 lakh people who could not prove their citizenship, are non-Muslims. That is why the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was brought to confuse the Hindus," Kumar said.
In a show of unity among political parties with different ideologies in their opposition to CAA, NRC and NPR, the seminar was addressed by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya, CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammed Salim, CPI(ML) Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, apart from Kumar.
The former JNU students' union president said there is "no problem" in showing papers and documents, but the government must ensure jobs and provide for other basic needs after the people do that.
"Farmers are committing suicide when onion is sold at Rs 200 per kg in the retail markets. Where is the money going?" he asked.
Kumar accused the BJP of creating confusion over CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) so that people forget about issues like price rise and unemployment.
"Whoever speaks up against BJP is termed anti-national by them without any evidence whatsoever," he claimed.
Kumar said that the saffron party has termed many respected persons, including Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and Mahatma Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi, anti-national since they had opposed the policies of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
Narendra Modi became the prime minister of the country from a 'chaiwala' (tea seller) because of democracy, but now he wants to do away with it, Kumar alleged.
"Modi is behaving like Kalidasa, he wants to cut the tree branch on which he is sitting," he said.
Salim said the Constitution assures dignity of individuals, but "the Modi government was doing away with that through the contentious CAA, NRC and NPR".
"People of the country are socially integrated, but the BJP is trying to divide them on religious lines," he alleged.
Bhattacharya also accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of misleading the Rajya Sabha by saying that all parties had supported the CAA when it was passed in the Select Committee. Bhattacharya, who was a member of the committee, claimed he had given a dissent note.
"Modi and Shah are trying to build a wall between Ishwar and Allah, but if the Berlin wall could be brought down, this wall can also be dismantled," he said.